Theories on the best paparazzo repellent seem to differ from volatile film star to volatile film star: Sean Penn prefers a big rock, while Alec Baldwin goes for a good can of lens-obscuring shaving cream. The latest innovation, however, comes courtesy of Johnny Depp.

The 35-year-old actor reportedly spent four hours in a London jail Sunday after photographers accused him of threatening them with a wooden plank. The alleged transgression occurred at 1:30 a.m. outside central London's Mirabelle restaurant as the photographers were trying to snap a picture of Depp and his girlfriend, French actress-model Vanessa Paradis.

Today's London tabloids are running pictures of the plank-wielding Depp. The Sun says the actor "flipped out" and cussed at the photogs as they attempted to bag their quarry.

"Johnny Depp is a person who guards his privacy. He had asked photographers to abstain from photographing him. Unfortunately, they persisted and intentionally provoked him," his publicist said in a statement.

The tabloid interest in Depp is high these days, with gossips on both sides of the Atlantic noting that Paradis is pregnant with his child.

Depp, in London filming Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, received a warning from the cops and was released without posting bond.

Despite widespread reporting of the actor's misanthropic streak--Associated Press led off a Monday story saying that Depp was back to his "bad-boy ways"--he's been well behaved of late. His last arrest was five years ago, when he was criminally charged for trashing his swanky New York hotel room.

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