LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Dustin Lance Black attends the 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Critics Choice Association)
Dustin Lance Black
Getty Images for Critics Choice

Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind “Milk” and creator of miniseries “Under the Banner of Heaven,” has been charged with assault as a result of an altercation that took place in a London bar in August 2022 (via The Hollywood Reporter). The incident involved Black and British television personality Teddy Edwardes, a presenter on the BBC3 show “The Big Proud Party Agency.” The two men got into a dispute that saw Edwardes punch Black, with both men eventually filing “allegations of common assault” against one another.

Black appeared in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on unconditional bail and is set to appear again on August 8.

In a statement provided to British newspaper Metro, a representative for Black said: “Mr. Black was surprised and saddened to learn that after the other person involved in this unfortunate incident took responsibility and expressed remorse for a punch to the back of Mr. Black’s head – which left him with a life-altering concussion – a decision was made to now examine the matter of a spilled drink in a court of law. Of course, Mr. Black will respect the process, and in the meantime will continue to focus on being a loving father and husband.”

IndieWire has reached out to Black’s attorneys for comment.

While news of the Black’s altercation has not been revealed publicly until now, the writer has been open about the fact that he suffered a head injury last year that affected his creative process. Black was vague about the circumstances that led to the injury, but he explained that it had temporarily forced him to stop writing.

“A month ago I sustained a serious head injury that put me out of commission,” Black wrote in a post on his personal Instagram account in September 2022. Showing little improvement, my doctors ordered me to shut off my brain in hopes of it healing. This has been a challenging, frightening time for a creative type who depends on what’s in his skull to work, care and love. And now I understand the road back will be long.”

Additional reporting by Ryan Lattanzio. 

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