The 15 London police officers on hand had underestimated the reaction. Concerned for the safety of the fans, Chief Inspector John Morgan, according to witnesses, asked Pitt to step away from the crowd. Pitt refused. "I owe it to them," he shouted. Yelled Morgan: "You owe it to them not to put them in danger." Later, Morgan told reporters, "I told Mr. Pitt that if he didn't behave, I would have no choice but to arrest him."
The flare-up faded quickly. Pitt went into the theater, and there were no injuries—except perhaps a bruised ego or two. Within hours the star was enjoying champagne and microburgers with the film's director, Madonna's beau Guy Ritchie, at the post-premiere bash at the London club Rock. "He really enjoyed himself," says a pal. "He only left at 3 a.m. because they were closing."