SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - British actor Rhys Ifans, who portrays the villain Lizard in the upcoming Hollywood movie “The Amazing Spider-Man,” was arrested and cited for battery at the pop culture gathering Comic-Con on Friday evening.
“He was abusive, belligerent and aggressive, and shoved a female security guard,” San Diego police spokeswoman Lt. Andra Brown said in a statement on Saturday.
Brown told Reuters a member of Ifans’ “entourage” did not have proper identification to enter Comic-Con, a gathering of science-fiction fans and comic book lovers. for a promotional event to tout the upcoming “Spider-Man” movie.
Ifans used his hand to push his way past security, Brown said. He cursed the staff, hurled insults at the United States and loudly complained: “I don’t live here,” she said.
The police spokeswoman added that Ifans’ breath “smelled like alcohol” but he was not cited for public drunkenness.
The guard who was pushed, however, made a citizen’s arrest, leading San Diego police to issue Ifans a citation for misdemeanor battery. He was released, and the San Diego City Attorney will decide whether to take further action.
Sony Pictures, the studio behind the “Spider-Man” movies, issued a statement to showbiz website TheWrap saying Ifans “deeply regrets the incident.”
The movie is a big-budget, special effects Hollywood flick, and the studio will have a lot of money riding on Spidey (played by Andrew Garfield) when he and Ifans’ Lizard crawl into theaters next year.
Ifans has starred in numerous films such as “Notting Hill,” “Little Nicky” and “Pirate Radio” during a career that has spanned two decades.
Editing by Todd Eastham