Page last updated at 13:27 GMT, Thursday, 24 July 2008 14:27 UK

Batman star appeals for privacy

Christian Bale speaks about the allegations

Batman star Christian Bale has asked for privacy after being questioned over allegations he assaulted his mother and sister in a London hotel.

Speaking for the first time on the subject, the Welsh-born actor said it was a "deeply personal matter."

He was speaking at a press conference in Barcelona, Spain, during a tour to promote Batman movie The Dark Knight.

The 34-year-old was arrested and bailed by police in London on Tuesday over the allegations which he denies.

"I would ask you to respect my privacy on that subject," he said in Thursday's press conference.

He had greeted fans at The Dark Knight's Spanish premiere on Wednesday night but had refused to comment on the assault claims.

He spent half an hour signing autographs at the gala but only spoke to the press about the film.

The actor smiled and looked relaxed before the movie was screened.

Box office success

It is claimed the alleged incident took place in his suite at the Dorchester Hotel on Sunday evening.

Christian Bale, as Batman and Heath Ledger as the Joker
The film also stars the late Heath Ledger as The Joker

Bale, who was in the UK to promote the new Batman film and attend its London premiere, is on bail until September pending further inquiries.

The actor, who attended Belgravia police station by appointment on Tuesday, was questioned for four hours.

A statement released by Bale's solicitors said he "co-operated throughout, gave his account in full of the events in question, and left the station without any charge".

They added there would be no further comment by the star.

The Dark Knight, which opens across the UK on Friday, has made more than $200m (100m) in its first week of release in North America.

The film's distributor, Warner Bros, said it has made more money than predecessor Batman Begins took at the box office during its entire four-month run.

It could become the first film to break the $400m (201m) mark since Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest in 2006.

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