With his wife, Sibi, by his side, Christian Bale celebrated the monster success of his film The Dark Knight at its London premiere July 21, signing autographs for fans and posing for photographers. But the next morning brought a very different scene: Arrested for an alleged assault, Bale, 34, entered a London police station for questioning. The assault accusations were lodged by Bale's mother, Jenny, 61, and his sister Sharon, 40, following an altercation at London's Dorchester hotel on the eve of the premiere, Britain's newspaper The Sun reported. In a July 22 statement, Bale's attorneys confirmed that an allegation had been made 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."

The fiercely private Bale, who has a 3-year-old daughter, is expected to return to a police station in September pending further inquiries. His mother, a former dancer, and sister, a musician, could not be reached for comment. (The Welsh-born actor's parents are divorced; his father, David, married feminist Gloria Steinem in 2000 and died in 2003.) The actor's intense approach to his work is well known, but a friend of Bale's was shocked to hear of the assault accusation. "I can't imagine Christian being violent in any way. He's such a warm, wonderful person."