Tom Daley’s husband twisted the wrist of a BBC presenter Teddy Edwardes after she ‘punched’ him in the back of his head, a court heard today.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, 49, is accused of assaulting Miss Edwardes, 32, in the West End club Freedom last summer. Black, who married the Olympic champion diver in 2017, denies one charge of assault by beating Miss Edwardes on August 18 last year.
CCTV footage played to the court showed Black grappling with Miss Edwardes in Soho’s Freedom Bar whilst former Love Island winner Amber Gill and Olympic diver Daley looked on in shock.
Miss Edwardes, who stars in the BBC Three show The Big Proud Party Agency, claimed the altercation occurred after she asked someone to leave her table and she then gave him ‘a little tap on the back of the head’ in response.
When he grabbed her wrist, it caused a drink to spill over her, the court was told. But this morning Black’s representatives alleged that Miss Edwardes had been ‘shouting at him and being aggressive’ during the night out.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, 49, is accused of assaulting Miss Edwardes, 32, in the West End club Freedom last summer
BBC Three presenter Teddy Edwardes arrives at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court this morning
Black, who is Tom Daley’s husband, was seen arriving at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning where he is accused of assaulting a woman
The pair had been at Freedom (pictured), a gay bar in Soho, when the alleged dispute happened
The pair were both pictured arriving outside of the court room this morning.
Adrita Ahmed, prosecuting, told the court today: ‘This is essentially about an altercation in a nightclub.
‘The Crown’s case is that he grabbed Ms Edwardes’ wrist, twisted it.’
The prosecution alleged this is what caused the drink to spill over the BBC presenter, to which ‘as a result Ms Edwardes retaliated’, the court heard.
But Black’s lawyers argue the grabbing of the wrist is not visible in the short CCTV clip, and say the charges should be ‘stayed’ due to failures in disclosure from prosecutors.
Helena Duong, defending, said: ‘Mr Black describes Ms Edwardes as shouting at him and being aggressive.’
Ms Duong claimed that the TV star had then gestured towards Black with her arms.
She referred to CCTV footage shown in court that apparently shows Miss Edwardes reaching out to Black as he walks away, however, the video did not make clear if there had been any contact.
Black then called the police to claim Miss Edwardes had punched him, the court heard.
Miss Edwardes stars in the BBC Three show The Big Proud Party Agency
Black married Olympic diver Tom Daley in 2017 and they have two children together
In an Instagram post following the incident the model praised Daley, 29, for trying to defuse the situation
The trial has now been adjourned until November 8 after the chief magistrate said it was ‘not the most evidentially strong case’.
The screenwriter, who wore a dark suit in the dock, wiped away tears as he heard the news.
Paul Goldspring said that time was needed for the prosecution to obtain a statement from the police officer who interviewed Miss Edwards but her defence argued against this.
Ms Duong argued against the delay adding: ‘I question whether it is a fair outcome for the prosecution, for it to go off to another day, and take up another day of court time significantly at the expense of the public purse.’
Black had flown in to London from his and 29-year-old Olympic gold medal-winning husband Daley’s home in Los Angeles for today’s hearing.
He will have to return in November when his trial will be heard in full.Ms Edwardes hosts BBC Three reality show Big Proud Party Agency in which LGBTQ+ party planners compete in planning parties, and has also appeared previously on BBC One dating show Unbreakable with a former girlfriend.
Mr Goldspring told Black, who had travelled from LA to London for his trial: ‘I know it is very frustrating that you came here expecting your trial to take place.’
The chief magistrate went on to ask: ‘Is he of good character?’
Ms Duong said: ‘He is and we have a number of character references.’
Black smiled as he arrived at the assault hearing at the city of Westminster Magistrates Court earlier today
Mr Goldspring added: ‘The Crown’s case is just that he grabbed the wrist and not that he threw the drink.
‘It is not the most evidentially strong case.’
The Met Police had said at the time that both parties had made allegations of common assault.
They said: ‘At 00:19hrs on Thursday, 18 August police were called to a licensed premises in Wardour Street following reports of an altercation between two customers.
‘Officers attended and spoke to those involved.
‘Both parties, a 48-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman, made allegations of common assault.
‘There were no reports of any injuries and no arrests. Enquiries are ongoing.’
During Black’s appearance in court earlier this year, he gave his address as Los Angeles and was bailed unconditionally until today.
Miss Edwardes looked at her phone as she arrived at court this morning, clutching a Gucci handbag
Black and his husband Mr Daley attending the Universal Music BRIT Awards after party in February
In April a spokesman for Black said the film director, who won an the Oscar for best original screenplay with 2008’s Milk, was ‘surprised and saddened’ to be facing the charge.
‘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’.
He added: ‘Of course Mr Black will respect the process, and in the meantime will continue to focus on being a loving father and husband.’
Judge Goldspring asked for the prosecution’s view of the public interest in pursuing the legal case against Black, adding: ‘Judges are reluctant to say what they think about the public interest. Probably my silence speaks volumes.’
He said he considered the offence to be the lowest level of seriousness, leading to a punishment between a conditional discharge and a low-level community order.
Black and Mr Daly announced the birth of their second son earlier this month.
Black denies one charge of assault by beating.