NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - British comedian and actor Russell Brand faced up to six months in prison on Wednesday when he was charged with a misdemeanor in New Orleans for throwing a photographer’s iPhone through a window.
The “Get Him to the Greek” film star was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday before Judge Sean Early, according to New Orleans Municipal Court spokesman Baptiste Souquet. It was unclear if Brand would be in the courtroom, or whether his attorney would be allowed to enter a plea on his behalf.
New Orleans police arrested the Brand on March 15 after a photographer accused the comedian of grabbing his iPhone and tossing it through a window, breaking the glass in a downtown law office.
Bail was set at $5,000 for Brand and he was released shortly after his arrest.
Brand’s New Orleans lawyer, Robert Glass, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
District attorney’s office spokesman Christopher Bowman said Brand was charged with one count of misdemeanor criminal damage to property.
The charge of simple criminal damage to property valued under $500 carries a potential penalty of up to six months in prison and/or a $500 fine. People familiar with similar cases say it is unlikely Brand, if convicted, will face jail time.
This is not Brand’s first brush with the law. In 2010, he was arrested for an alleged attack on a paparazzo at a Los Angeles airport, and last year, he was deported from Japan over his criminal history when he tried to visit his then-wife Katy Perry on her concert tour in the country.
Reporting By Kathy Finn; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Leslie Gevirtz