How Hollywood Is Fighting Back Against Brad Pitt Prankster

Leslie Gornstein
Yahoo CelebrityMay 30, 2014
Vitalii Sediuk is taken away in handcuffs in Hollywood (Matt Sayles/AP)
Vitalii Sediuk is taken away in handcuffs in Hollywood (Matt Sayles/AP)

About the man who allegedly slugged Brad Pitt in Hollywood: He's also targeted Will Smith, America Ferrera, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Adele. Is there anything celebs can do to stop him? Could he face anything worse legally than misdemeanor?

This pseudo-funny-person is named Vitalii Sediuk. He's called his creepy physical attacks "pranks," which might make sense if they, you know, made a point.

But let's take comfort in the small things. Yes, both Hollywood and law enforcement are onto this narcissistic excuse for a member of the social commentariat. Yahoo has learned that Pitt has filed a temporary restraining order against Sediuk, who remains locked up in county jail on $20,000 bail. The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office confirms that the 25-year-old will be charged with four counts — assault, battery, unlawful activity, and interference at a theatrical event.

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The fallout likely won't end there. Let's remember that Sediuk is still on probation stemming from his trespass at the 2013 Grammys.

Meantime, Sediuk's publicist (?!) has dumped him ("After the Pitt incident I … was as shocked as anyone," Christa Scherck told The Insider With Yahoo) and his attorney has issued a statement proclaiming Sediuk's innocence. Oh, and his former employer, 1+1 TV channel, put out a press release announcing his termination a few weeks ago after the Ferrera attack at Cannes. "From now on, the journalist no longer represents the interests of the company," they declared. I wish him good luck with all that.

"If he is on probation, that probation could be violated and a judge could sentence him to a maximum incarceration of six months," defense attorney Andrew Flier, who is not representing Sediuk, tells me. "This person does seem to be a little out of control."

Additionally, the judge assigned to the new battery case could take note of Sediuk's probation status and raise his bail. If found guilty of the misdemeanor, Sediuk could face yet another six months behind bars. Also, Flier points out, U.S. immigration official tend to frown on foreigners with multiple convictions. Sediuk is Ukrainian. With any luck, this may be the last trip he ever takes to the States.

But even if prosecutors drop the whole incident, don't expect Sediuk to be forgotten, at least, not among celebrity bodyguards.

"Vitalii already is pretty notorious in our circle," says Elijah Shaw of Icon Services Corp., who protects big names domestically and overseas. "Each time he gets bolder and bolder. Security professionals have a list, a kind of a do-not-admit list, with names and photos of individuals like him. I guarantee you he's already on that list."

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In fact, such a list was likely in circulation among organizers of the Pitt event, Shaw suspects. It wasn't enough, obviously — Sediuk allegedly jumped a barrier to get to the actor — but don't be shocked if celebrity bodyguards are rectifying that little problem as you read this.

"Awareness is being increased that much more," Shaw tells me, "In the future, if security staffs are forward-thinking, they're increasing the height of their barriers."

[Updated May 30, 2014 at 1:15 p.m. with information about the criminal charges Sediuk is facing.]

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Leslie Gornstein is an entertainment writer and the host of the weekly Hollywood gossip podcast The Fame Fatale.