Woody Harrelson's latest run-in with the paparazzi will go down in the record books as?not much of anything, really.
For now, anyway.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office opted Wednesday not to file felony assault charges against the People vs. Larry Flynt star over a skirmish he had with a TMZ.com cameraman earlier this month outside a Hollywood nightspot.
Instead, Deputy District Attorney Alisanne Scolnik Augusta referred the case for possible misdemeanor prosecution to the City Attorney's Office, which is expecting to get the full report within a day or two, according to spokesman Frank Mateljan.
On July 6 Harrelson and his entourage were leaving the Element Club when photog Josh Levine began videotaping the actor as he walked toward his car. As seen on the video clip, the hemp-friendly 45-year-old asked Levine to leave him alone, but the cameraman persisted, saying that he couldn't help it.
"You're just so sexy," Levine told Harrelson, who didn't think much of the compliment apparently, because then, per the complaint Levine later filed with the Los Angeles Police Department, Harrelson broke the viewfinder on Levine's video camera.
Then, Levine alleged, when he whipped out a digital camera and began snapping away, Harrelson grabbed Levine's neck, "in an attempt to choke" him.
The cameraman also claimed that he went to the hospital (where he was treated for minor abrasions on his neck and promptly sent home) because he felt he was about to pass out.
According to Augusta, Levine later said that he never actually came close to losing consciousness.
"The force used is not to the level that would cause great bodily injury," Augusta wrote in her outline of the allegations. She also decided that the cameraman's footage of the incident "doesn't reveal a clear intentional breaking of the camera by the suspect."
While Harrelson is off the hook for now, TMZ.com managing editor Harvey Levin wrote the Website that Levine's camera was going to cost $1,600 to fix and that his camp fully expects the former Cheers player to foot the bill.
"And if he doesn't, we're taking him to small claims court," Levin wrote, adding, "And, by the way, we'll ask the judge if we can shoot the proceedings--with a camera."
In 1998 Harrelson was ordered to shell out $4,800 to two photographers he scuffled with at Martha's Vineyard Airport in 1995 after asking them to quit taking pictures of his wife, Laura Louie, and daughter, Deni, who was two years old at the time.
Harrelson can currently be seen (with his wholehearted permission) in Richard Linklater's latest adventure in interpolated rotoscoping (filming with live actors and then animating over the footage), A Scanner Darkly, and in Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion. He and Louie welcomed their third daughter, Makani Ravello, in June.