Man held after Leona punched at book signing

Singer Leona Lewis was recovering today after being punched in the head as she signed books for fans.

The 24-year-old was signing copies of her autobiography at Waterstone's Piccadilly in London yesterday afternoon, when a man in the queue suddenly lashed out.

She was bruised at the side of her head and was left "shaken", her spokesman said. Police arrested a 29-year-old man at the scene and he remained in custody today.

Lewis was taken to see a doctor as a precaution after being struck, but needed no further treatment.

Witnesses said she had been happily signing for around 90 minutes when a man whose book she autographed suddenly punched her in the side of the head.

Her spokesman, who was at the signing, did not hear the man say anything to Lewis during the "unprovoked" incident and security officers swooped in. He was seen laughing immediately afterwards.

The spokesman said: "(Leona) is absolutely gutted she did not get the signings finished."

He added that to hit a woman was "beyond cowardly".

Waterstones said it took security at book signings "extremely seriously" and this was the first incident of its kind.

The firm added: "We would like to thank Leona for her professionalism and we are extremely sad that this event was ruined for her, and her fans, many of whom queued from the early hours of the morning to meet her."

Before the signing session for her book called Dreams, Lewis posed for photographs and spoke to reporters.

Interviewed by the Press Association, she said she was pleased to see so many fans in the queue.

"I am so glad at the turnout," she said. "It's amazing. I can't believe people are coming to support and I am just very thankful."

Lewis said she was "excited" about her new album and was looking forward to performing at London's Hackney Empire next month.

She said: "That's really exciting for me, going back to Hackney Empire.

"I won my first show there when I was 13 and it's good to go back and give the people of Hackney, and everywhere, something to be proud of."

The attack caused Lewis to pull out of a guest spot on the BBC's The One Show last night.

A BBC spokeswoman said Gabby Logan was able to step in at the last minute.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor