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Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning writer of Milk, has been charged with assault in a case involving Teddy Edwardes, a presenter on the BBC3’s The Big Proud Party Agency.
The Under the Banner of Heaven creator pleaded not guilty when he appeared in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday, where he faced a charge of assault by beating, a spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed. He has been released on unconditional bail and is set to appear in court on Aug. 8.
The charge stems from an altercation between Black and Edwardes in August 2022 at the Freedom bar in Soho. According to the U.K. outlet, The Evening Standard, the altercation took place on Aug. 18 of last year, with police responding to a call at the Wardour Street establishment.
Both Black and Edwardes “made allegations of common assault,” according to local London authorities, but there were no reports of injuries and no arrests at the time.
A rep for Black told U.K. newspaper Metro that the Hollywood writer will respect the legal process but “was surprised and saddened to learn that after the other person involved in this unfortunate incident took responsibility and expressed remorse for a punch to the back of Mr. Black’s head — which left him with a life-altering concussion — a decision was made to now examine the matter of a spilled drink in a court of law.”
In September, Black revealed he experienced a “serious head injury,” which was why he had “vanished for a while” from the public and social media space. He did not specify how he received the injury.
“Showing little improvement, my doctors ordered me to shut off my brain in hopes of it healing. This has been a challenging, frightening time for a creative type who depends on what’s in his skull to work, care and love,” Black continued in his post. “And now I understand the road back will be long.”
While discussing his doc, Mamma’s Boy, Black told THR that he was on the mend but some of the things he went through as a result of the injury were “frightening” and can feel “endless,” even though they are not.
“I’ll be back to 100 percent normal within months. Right now, it’s the morning and I feel a 100 percent like myself. A few weeks ago, I would have that for an hour but now, almost three or four,” he added. “It’s a challenging one because to get better quicker, you [have to] think less. That’s not my normal mode.”
According to the Evening Standard, Edwardes alleges that Black threw a drink at her at the London club during an argument after she invited him and his husband, British Olympic diver and TV personality Tom Daly, to her table.
“I didn’t have a drink to throw back so I did choose violence, but I wasn’t that violent, he got a little tap on the head,” she said in an Instagram post. “Tell me why he is crying outside saying it’s a targeted attack and he’s traumatized and called the police, so I have to wait for hours and now I have been cautioned and have to go in for interviews.”
On Thursday, Edwardes referenced the case in several Instagram stories. “Was about to post a whole thing but let me keep my mouth shut a little bit longer because I have to deal with his court case first,” she wrote. “You will hear from me when I can though.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to the Metropolitan Police and a rep for Black.
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