The serial red-carpet crasher who ambushed Brad Pitt last week admits he brought trouble on himself, but says he meant no harm and doesn’t need the psychiatric counseling that was part of his criminal sentencing.
“I’m not complaining because I created this trouble for myself, but at the same time, I’m upset with the slandering,” Ukrainian journalist Vitalii Sediuk – deemed a "nutter" by Pitt himself – tells PEOPLE.
Sediuk, 25, was involved in a scuffle with the actor, 50, at last Wednesday’s Maleficent premiere in Los Angeles. But he claims he just wanted to hug the star.
“I saw the headlines saying he was punched in the face, which was absolutely not true,” says Sediuk, who has made news in the past for hugging stars like Bradley Cooper around the waist and placing his head in their crotches. “I was going for a hug I have done this many times before, and I have never hit or punch someone. That would be something different. That is criminal.”
Many have grown tired of his antics, however. Sediuk has caused disruptions in Moscow, New York and at the Cannes Film Festival, where he crawled underneath America Ferrera’s dress, for which he was fired by Ukrainian TV studio 1+1.
He has also unnerved Hollywood, with Pitt saying Sediuk could “spoil it for the fans who have waited up all night for an autograph or a selfie, because it will make people more wary to approach a crowd.”
A court took a dim view of Sediuk last week, too, sentencing him to three years of probation and a year of psychiatric counseling after he pleaded no contest to battery charges. For his part, Sediuk claims he isn’t crazy, though he will submit to the counseling and sees it as a learning experience.
“I upset a lot of people, but I also entertained a lot of people,” says the now-unemployed journalist, who remained jovial throughout the interview despite frequent apologizes for his difficulty with the English language. “I think these classes will give me some new experiences, even though I don’t think I need them. But I’m obligated to take them.”
Sediuk admits to being an attention seeker – “I can’t deny that there is not a little part of me that enjoys doing an interview,” he says – but he hopes to clear his name and continue his career, though he knows his work as a journalist may be over.
“It is easy for me to work with cameras. It is something that comes natural for me, so I would like anything with acting or reality [TV],” he says. “Maybe I could still do my pranks but they would be staged for the movies. I would absolutely do that and maybe outshine in acting some of the people who I had pranked.”
“If I am given this opportunity, people could see different sides of me. Maybe one day I will earn the respect of industry people and reporters and not just get people saying ‘Deport him’ or ‘Complete moron.’ That is tough.”
Angelina Jolie Addresses Issue
For their part, Angelina Jolie says she and Pitt won’t tighten their security policies during publicity events, reports the Associated Press.
“People like that are an exception to the rule,” she explained. “Most fans are just wonderful. We’ve had a wonderful experience over the years, and we’re very grateful for their support, and it will not change the way we behave.”
Jolie spoke on Tuesday while in Shanghai to promote Maleficent.
She also said Pitt is a “strong man” who handled the situation in L.A. “perfectly” after he was accosted by Sediuk.