Pop star Louis Tomlinson was captured on camera at LAX fighting with a photographer and two girls on March 4 (video below).
The 25-year-old star of the pop boy band One Direction was arrested, charged with battery, and later released on bail, Mirror reports.
In video surveillance footage, Tomlinson and his girlfriend, Eleanor, 24, are seen walking through the airport in matching blue track suits before the altercation. Tomlinson can then be seen scuffling with a photographer, which escalated when Tomlinson tripped and appeared to accidentally drag the photographer floor with him.
At that point, two females entered the scene and appeared to get into a physical altercation with Eleanor. Tomlinson then began shouting, "What the hell is happening?" and "Can we get some help?" before rushing over to Eleanor's aid, pushing the girls out of the way and losing his jacket in the process.
Finally, airport security broke up the fight, and Tomlinson and Eleanor walked away from the scene.
One of the women claimed she received an eye injury as a result of the altercation with Tomlinson, and threatened that he would be "going to jail." The photographer also went to hospital; it was reported he suffered a concussion.
A source close to Tomlinson disputes the woman's version of events, reports Mirror. "The video from the incident shows what really happened and tells the story. Those girls were attacking Eleanor and Louis rushed in and pushed them away. He is adamant everything he did was to protect his girlfriend and that is what he has been telling his friends. He can't say anything public because of the legal situation but he just wants to sort it out as soon as possible and move on."
In the meantime, he has hired Hollywood lawyer Marty "Mad Dog" Singer to defend him against the charges. Singer has represented a wide range of clients, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta, and Nicolas Cage, who deems him the "best lawyer in the world."
In a public statement, Singer said: "The paparazzi provoked and caused the altercation that occurred with Louis. While the altercation was going on, three other individuals were attacking his girlfriend and he came to her defense."
Fans as well as other celebrities have expressed support for Tomlinson. Ben Winston, who has directed a number of One Direction music videos, summed up the attitude among the supporters: "Shocked Louis Tomlinson was arrested. Vid clearly shows he pulls two girls off his girlfriend & a [paparazzi] trips. Even asks staff for help. Wrongful arrest."
As a result of the incident, Tomlinson is now considering traveling with increased security in the future. He is due to appear in court on March 29.