LATEST: Hollywood superstar Kevin Spacey was the unwitting victim of a con artist on Saturday morning (17APR04) - not a mugger - according to the actor himself.

The USUAL SUSPECTS star told police he had been attacked and had his mobile phone stolen while walking his dog in a Lambeth, south London park at 4.30am.

After reporting the crime and receiving hospital attention for a minor head injury, Spacey returned to the police station to withdraw his claim.

Spacey appeared on BBC RADIO 4's respected TODAY show this morning (19APR04) to explain the bizarre series of events.

He reveals, "I fell for a con and I was, I think, incredibly embarrassed by it. Some sob story about someone needing to call their mother and could they use my phone.

"It was such a good con that I actually dialled the number myself, and then when someone answered I finally handed my phone over, and this kid took off and I ran after him and it was 4am and I tripped up over my dog and I ended up falling onto the street and hitting myself in the head."

The OSCAR-winner was so angry and humiliated at the time of the crime, he went to the police. Only after he calmed down, Spacey returned to the station to admit he hadn't been attacked.

Spacey says, "I'm extremely upset. I feel like the biggest fool that's ever lived. I march over to the police station and I say I got mugged and I'm thinking that they're gonna run out and find this kid a block later, and of course they take me to the hospital and they were very kind and that's one of the reasons I went back on Saturday morning to the police station.

"I woke up after a couple of hours' sleep and I thought, you know, there's a difference between assault and theft and it just wasn't on for me to not come clean about my own level of embarrassment, and being humble at the fact that I got taken by the oldest con going.

"But it probably was good that I got bonked on the head because I obviously wasn't thinking."

19/04/2004 17:05