Thursday, July 24, 2008

Say it Ain't So Batman

As a big fan of Christian Bale's, I was pretty disappointed about the recent allegations that he assaulted his mother and sister in a London hotel. Fox News reported:

While audiences were shattering weekend box-office records in the U.S., Christian Bale was in London, where his mother and sister reportedly leveled assault allegations against the star of "The Dark Knight" that have yet to become clear.

Bale said the allegations were false Tuesday, hours after the Wales-born actor was arrested, questioned by London police and released on bail. The 34-year-old actor spent four hours talking with authorities but was not charged.

British media reported that Bale's mother and sister told police he assaulted them at the Dorchester Hotel in London on Sunday night, a day before attending the European premiere of "The Dark Knight." The Sun newspaper said the complaint was filed by sister Sharon Bale and mother Jenny Bale.

"Christian Bale attended a London police station today on a voluntary basis," read a statement from Bale's lawyer, Simon Smith, of the London-based firm Schillings. "Bale, who denies the allegation, cooperated throughout, gave his account in full of the events in question, and has left the station without any charge being made against him by the police."

A woman thought to be Bale's sister Sharon told reporters "it's a family matter" from her home in Corfe Mullen, 110 miles southwest of London. A man who answered the door at the home of Jenny Bale in nearby Bournemouth said she did not want to comment.

The reports surfaced just days after "The Dark Knight," which co-stars Heath Ledger as Batman's nemesis the Joker, took a record $158.4 million at the box office in its opening weekend. Ledger, who took the iconic villain to a deeply disturbed and diabolical place, died earlier this year of an accidental drug overdose in New York -- a circumstance that has only added to the movie's brooding mystique.

Asked Tuesday whether Bale had been arrested, a London police spokesman did not refer to him by name but said: "A 34-year-old man attended a central London police station this morning by appointment and was arrested in connection with an allegation of assault."

The spokesman requested anonymity because he is not authorized to be identified under police policy. British police do not name suspects who have not been formally charged.

The force later said in a statement that the man had been released on bail pending further inquiries and told to return in September. It did not specify the date.

The Sun said police did not question the actor Monday because they did not want to interfere with the premiere of the movie. The next scheduled stops on the film's European premiere tour were Madrid, Spain, July 23; and Tokyo on July 28.

In the sequel to "Batman Begins," Bale reprises the role of wealthy playboy Bruce Wayne and his crime-fighting alter-ego Batman, a brooding vigilante superhero still scarred by the murder of his parents.

In his destructive battle of wits with the Joker, Batman pushes his own ethical boundaries, and ultimately is forced into the shadows. Winding up what may be the darkest -- and most critically acclaimed -- superhero movie ever, Bale's Batman truly becomes, as coined by Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred: "The Dark Knight."

Bale first made a splash as the child star of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" in 1987 and as an adult has made his name with intense screen roles. His earlier films include "American Psycho" and "The Machinist."

Bale is the youngest of four children and is the stepson of Gloria Steinem. Her assistant said Tuesday that the author and feminist leader was at a writing retreat and unavailable for comment.

Bale's current project is playing John Connor in "Terminator Salvation," scheduled for filming this week in New Mexico. The film "will continue to shoot with Mr. Bale when he has completed his International tour for 'The Dark Knight,"' said Lee Anne Muldoon, unit publicist for the movie.

A records check turned up no criminal record for Bale in the Los Angeles area, where he's lived with his wife, Sibi Blazic, and their young daughter. -FOX NEWS

I have been a follower since Bale's early days of the Disney musical "Newsies," with which I tortured my parents by taping it on VHS and playing it over and over while learning the words to all the songs and the moves to all the dances (yes, I was a big theater dork back in the day, still am as a matter of fact). I wasn't completely sold on the thought of him playing Batman when news of his role in Batman Begins hit the airwaves, but I was willing to be open and not prematurely judgmental of his ability to fill the shoes of the oh-so handsome and mysterious George Clooney. Although Batman Begins certainly wasn't my favorite of all the Batmans, I liked Bale's moody, sullen portrayal of the younger version of the super hero. I am anxious to see The Black Knight, of course to see Heath Ledger (whom I have heard is superb as The Joker), but also to see my dear Christian Bale. But, I have to admit that these recent accusations have put a damper on my excitement to see him on the big screen. I don't like not knowing whether he actually did something so nasty as assault his mother, because I like to pretend that I really know these untouchable celebrities and only "like" the "nice" ones. For example, as soon as Tom Cruise started acting like a looney tune, I began to dislike him and not enjoy his movies as much. Yes, this makes me slightly looney tunes as well, but living in my own little celebrity fantasy world is something that brings me great joy.

So here's to hoping that Christian is innocent of beatin' on his poor momma and sis. I will have to go see The Dark Knight and put visions of him hitting some poor old British lady out of my head for the two and a half hours (yikes!) that I am sitting in the theater. Hopefully Heath Ledger's stunning performance will distract me!