Sean Penn charged with misdemeanors in photographer case

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Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn was charged Friday with battery and vandalism in connection with an attack on a photographer near Brentwood Country Mart last fall, officials said.

Penn, 49, faces up to 18 months in jail if convicted of the misdemeanor charges stemming from the run-in Oct. 12.

The charges were filed by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office. “We are alleging he kicked a photographer, and we are also accusing him of breaking the photographer’s camera,” said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the office.

The incident was captured on video and broadcast on

The video shows a bearded Penn, dressed in a black shirt and dark pants, striding toward the photographer and kicking at him a few times while repeatedly shouting, “Get out.” The photographer backs up as Penn kicks at him, the video shows. The performer will be arraigned March 22 at Los Angeles County Superior Court’s airport branch in Westchester.

Penn on several occasions has voiced his disgust at the paparazzi who follow Hollywood celebrities. The actor-director, who won best actor Oscars for “Milk” and “Mystic River,” was known in his younger days for his clashes with paparazzi.

In 1987, he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for striking a movie extra who took photographs of him on the film set of the police drama “Colors.” Penn punched the man in the face several times with a closed fist and had to be pulled off and restrained by members of the crew and cast, officials said.

The actor was on probation at the time for punching a songwriter at a Silver Lake nightclub because he thought the man had kissed Madonna, his wife at the time. In that case he got one year’s probation and was fined $1,700.

In 1985, Penn received a suspended sentence after pleading no contest to charges that he attacked two British journalists who tried to photograph Madonna outside a Nashville hotel.