The photographer who was allegedly punched in the face by Australian actor Sam Worthington claims it was Lara Bingle who attacked him first on a New York street.
Paparazzo Sheng Li appeared in a Manhattan court on Monday charged with misdemeanour counts of assault and harassment.
Police allege Li was aggressively taking photos of Bingle and Worthington as they walked along a Greenwich Village street on Sunday afternoon.
Li deliberately kicked Bingle in the shin and Worthington retaliated by punching Li in the face, NYPD lieutenant John Grimpel told AAP.
Li’s lawyer Ron Kuby told a different story.
“Ms Bingle was the one that attacked him,” Kuby told the court, according to the New York Post.
“She claims that Mr Li was following her for four hours and then runs up and kicks her in the shins.
“In what world does that make any sense?”
Bingle, according to the criminal complaint, told police Li “kept getting in her way as she was walking down the street and was trying to trip her.”
But Kuby said Li’s the job was to take pictures and “Ms Bingle got upset and ran half way up the block and attacked him”.
“Her large famous boyfriend ran up and punched him four times in the face,” the lawyer told the court.
Worthington has been charged with third degree assault and will appear in Manhattan’s Criminal Court on Wednesday.
While Worthington was released soon after Sunday’s arrest, Li remained in custody until after Monday’s arraignment.