NEW YORK (AP) — Alec Baldwin denied punching a newspaper photographer during a confrontation outside a marriage license bureau.
"If I had punched him, I would be in jail right now, rightfully so," Baldwin said during an appearance on David Letterman's "Late Show" Wednesday. "I kind of pushed him out of the way because he almost hit me in the face with the camera."
Baldwin's confrontation with New York Daily News photographer Marcus Santos was splashed on the newspaper's front page. Police have confirmed that Santos filed a complaint against Baldwin, saying he was punched while taking pictures of Baldwin and his fiancée on Tuesday.
The New York Press Club condemned Baldwin, saying his actions "should not be tolerated." The club said he is a public figure and that his activities are legitimate subjects of media interest.
Baldwin, to Letterman, said the photographer is a master at getting close enough to a subject that he thinks he is going to be hit by the camera. "They want you to react," he said.
Baldwin said that if he were charged in the case, he would have pressed charges against Santos.
"You do not want to know what would have happened in the jail cell if we were both in the jail cell," he said.
A joking Baldwin noted that in the Daily News picture of his confrontation, he appears to be forming the letter 'f' with his mouth. "What I'm saying is, 'What 'f stop' are you using on the camera?'"
An NYPD spokeswoman says no charges have been filed and that police are investigating.
On Thursday, The Daily News ran a photo on its front page of Baldwin dropping his pants on Letterman — a quick gesture to demonstrate that he was losing weight.