‘Milk’ Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black To Face Trial Over Alleged London Nightclub Altercation

Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black will stand trial in the UK after being accused of assaulting a BBC TV presenter at a nightclub in London.

Black, who won the Best Screenplay Oscar for 2008’s Milk, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London via video link on Thursday, where he filed a not guilty plea, PA reported. The screenwriter was released on unconditional bail. The trial has been set for an August 8 start date.

According to reports, the charge is the result of an alleged altercation between Black, and BBC3 presenter Teddy Edwardes last summer. In a statement, London’s Metropolitan Police said police officers were called to a nightclub in London’s Soho district after midnight in August last year following reports of “an altercation” between a man in his 40s and a woman in her 30s. Black was charged with common assault on February 17, PA reports.

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Deadline has contacted Black’s reps for comment.

In a separate statement handed to the British newspaper Metro, the screenwriter’s legal reps 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.”

Black, who is married to the British Olympian Tom Daley, is best known for his work on films such as the multi-Oscar-winning biopic Milk, starring Sean Penn, and the legal drama J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Naomi Watts. Black was also the creator of the FX limited series Under the Banner of Heaven, which starred Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar Jones.

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