Sam Worthington allegedly punched a photographer for kicking his model girlfriend Lara Bingle in the shin while they were walking in West Village, New York.

The 37 year-old actor was arrested by police on Sunday (Feb 23rd), shortly after the incident took place and is now facing an assault charge.

The snapper Sheng Li, who was also arrested, appeared in a Manhattan courthouse on Monday morning (Feb 24th) and was charged with misdemeanour counts of harassment and assault.

But the paparazzo’s defence was that he was attacked by the 26 year-old model first.

“Ms. Bingle was the one that attacked him,” said defense lawyer Ron Kuby in the Mahattan court on Monday, according to Page Six.

“She claims that Mr. Li was following her for four hours and then runs up and kicks her in the shins,” he added. “In what world does that make any sense?”

Kuby continued, “He was on the job taking pictures and Ms. Bingle got upset and ran half way up the block and attacked him. Her large famous boyfriend ran up and punched him four times in the face and Worthington doesn’t even get charged.”

But the court papers contradict Mr. Li’s account of events, as they read, “The defendant followed her on a public street for approximately four hours, kept getting in her way as she was walking down the street and was trying to trip her, which caused her to fear for her safety.”

Li was allowed to walk shortly after his court appearance but unlike Worthington, he had to spend the night in jail. The Aussi hunk was released on bail shortly after getting arrested, but is due back to court at a later date, which is reported to be February 26th.

Kurby slammed the police who arrived on the scene for putting Li through the system but letting the ‘Avatar’ actor walk out.

“He absolutely got unique treatment. Shocker the party who got the ticket and walked out is a movie star,” he said.

Lara Bingle
The photographer claims Bingle attacked him first