Brad Pitt

Contrary to the photographic evidence, Brad Pitt and his security guard weren't hugging it out at the premiere of the star's Oscar-bait The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night.

For his part, Pitt largely shrugged off the drama.

"Though they [the paparazzi] were exceptionally more aggressive than usual, breaking through a security barrier and into a private holding area, ultimately just another day in the life," the put-upon heartthrob said in a statement to E! News.

But according to an eyewitness, the guard was doing his duty in the face of a shutterbug stampede at an L.A. movie house.

"The paparazzi stormed the theater and were incredibly aggressive, pouring in through all entrance areas," the source tells E!

"They were hitting bystanders with their cameras. The security guard was merely trying to safely and quickly remove Brad from the melee."

Meanwhile, the so-called "executive protection specialist" who grabbed Pitt says he was just doing his job.

"We were told by Mr. Pitt's people that he was being followed by numerous paparazzi that ran a minimum of 20 red lights to keep up with Mr. Pitt. When Mr. Pitt arrived at the theater approximately seven paparazzi bum-rushed the front door of the theater and began to rush inside," the guard, who requested anonymity, tells Entertainment Tonight.

"It's security's sole priority to protect the talent and I removed Mr. Pitt immediately from what could have been a potentially dangerous situation."

(Originally published Nov. 11, 2008 at 1:07 p.m. PT)

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