Dustin Lance Black appears in court on assault charge

Dustin Lance Black poses on the red carpet in a black suit and shirt

Dustin Lance Black has appeared in court after being accused of assaulting a woman at an LGBTQ+ bar in London.

The 49-year-old, who is married to Olympic gold medalist Tom Daley, is facing allegations that he intentionally spilled a drink on Teddy Edwardes at Freedom nightclub in August 2022. 

Edwardes, who appears as a party planner on BBC Three’s Big Proud Party Agency, allegedly punched Black in the head in retaliation.

The Evening Standard reported that prosecutor Adrita Ahmed told Westminster Magistrates Court on Tuesday (8 August): “Essentially it’s an altercation in a nightclub.

“The Crown’s case is the defendant [Black] grabbed Ms Edwardes’ wrist and twisted it, and the drink has gone over her… Ms Edwardes has retaliated.”

Ahmed added that Edwardes had received a caution in February for “going too far in self-defence”.

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Black has denied the charge of assault by beating.

The Oscar-winner was reportedly on a night out with Daley on 18 August, 2022 when Edwardes approached them with drinks she had bought them.

In a series of Instagram posts at the time, Edwardes claimed that Black “pretty much unprovoked” threw an “entire drink” at her. 

“I didn’t have a drink to throw back so I did choose violence, but I wasn’t that violent, he got a little tap on the head,” she said.

“Tell me why he is crying outside saying it’s a targeted attack, and he’s traumatised and called the police so I have to wait for hours and now I have been cautioned and have to go in for interviews.”

Defence barrister Helena Duong said at Westminster Magistrates Court: “Mr Black describes Ms Edwardes effectively shouting at him and being aggressive.

“What the defence would say you can see on the CCTV is, immediately from the very beginning, Mr Black is trying to walk away.

“There’s an exchange between them, in which she continues to be aggressive and shouting at him and he reacts to that.

“She makes a movement, gesticulating with her arms, which causes Mr Black to reach for the glass.”

Black, who won an Oscar for his screenplay Milk, denies the common assault charge. 

The trial has now been adjourned due to missing evidence; the tape of Edwardes’ police interview was reportedly lost and there is no transcript, and a statement has not yet been taken from the officer who interviewed her.

Chief magistrate Paul Goldspring commented it was “not the most evidentially strong case”.

After an April hearing, a spokesperson for Dustin Lance Black told PinkNews: “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.

“Of course Mr Black will respect the process and in the meantime will continue to focus on being a loving father and husband.”

Black and Daley recently welcomed their second child, Phoenix, in April. The pair married in 2017 and their first son Robbie was born in 2018.

Black’s trial will resume on 8 November.