Christian Bale arrested for 'assault on mother and sister'

The Batman star Christian Bale was released on police bail yesterday after being questioned over an alleged assault on his mother and sister.

Scotland Yard said the Hollywood actor, 34, had voluntarily attended Belgravia police station, in central London, at noon. After four hours of questioning by detectives he was released on bail until September pending further inquiries. His arrest came just 16 hours after he attended the European premiere of the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, in Leicester Square.

His mother, Jenny, 61, and sister, Sharon, claim he lashed out at them on Sunday night in his suite at The Dorchester hotel, in Park Lane. They reported the alleged incient at a Hampshire police station on Monday. The complaint was then passed to the Metropolitan Police, who spoke to Mr Bale before the film premiere but allowed him to attend the event on condition that he present himself at Belgravia police station yesterday.

A police spokesman said: "A 34-year-old man attended a central London police station this morning by appointment. He was arrested in connection with an allegation of assault. He has since been bailed to return on a date in September."

The Welsh-born actor left the police station at 4.20pm in a silver Mercedes people carrier, avoiding the reporters andphotographers outside.

A statement from Bale's solicitors, the London-based firm Schillings, said: "Christian Bale attended a London police station, on a voluntary basis, in order to assist with an allegation that had been made against him to the police by his mother and sister.

"Mr 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. At this time, there will be no further comment by Mr Bale."

His sister Sharon, 40, shouted: "It's a family matter" through a window when approached by reporters at her home in Corfe Mullen, near Wimborne, Dorset. A man who answered the door at the home of his mother in Bournemouth said she did not want to comment.

On Monday, the actor appeared moody as he took part in a question and answer session with reporters before the film premiere.

Later that day he appeared on the red carpet at Leicester Square with his wife, Sibi Blazic, and other stars of the film, including Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Aaron Eckhart.

Bale's big-screen break came at 13 when he starred in Steven Spielberg's Empire of the Sun. His best-known film role in the early part of his career was as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho, released in 2000. He first starred as Bruce Wayne's alter ego, Batman, in 2005's Batman Begins, reprising the role this year for The Dark Knight.

Mr Bale's arrest follows the death in January of his Dark Knight co-star, Heath Ledger, of an accidental prescription drugs overdose.