A television cameraman claimed actor Sean Penn kicked and shoved him as he photographed Penn and his wife, Madonna, Monday night at the Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks heavyweight championship bout in Atlantic City, N.J.
Al Pollock, a camerman for WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, said he first photographed the Penns as they got off an elevator at Trump Plaza en route to a celebrity party.
When Penn and Madonna entered the party, they were surrounded by a throng of media, and quickly left by a side door. A cordon of security guards cleared a path in the hall as the couple moved swiftly toward the elevator.
That's when Penn went on the attack, Pollock said.
"He kicked me in the leg," Pollock said. "He wound up and kicked me. I said 'What's going on here?' I turned this way and I caught him with a forearm, not on purpose, but I hit him.
"He said, 'Hey, what's going on here?' " Pollock said. "I'm not going to say what I said because you couldn't print that. He went and he pushed me up against the wall. I was pinned against the wall."
Michael Spinks, who was was guaranteed $13.5 million for the fight, earned $1,687,500 for each of the eight Tyson punches he absorbed, or $148,351.64 for each second of the fight.
Mike Tyson will receive around $20 million, give or take a million or two, depending on the gross take from ticket sales, pay-per-view and closed-circuit receipts. That comes to $219,780 a second or $10 million for each of the two punches landed by Spinks.
People who paid $1,500 for a ringside seat ended up paying $16.48 a second for the privilege. Those who paid $35 to watch it on closed-circuit TV coughed up 39 cents a second.
Donald Trump, the casino owner who put the fight together, came out a double winner. He was expected to reap a take of $60-$80 million from the fight, as well as millions more from customers dropping money in his casinos along the Boardwalk. Thanks to Tyson's punching power, the high-rollers had an extra hour on their hands Monday night to drop more money at Trump's tables.
Donald Trump used his fleet of his private helicopters to shuttle celebrities from the East and West sides of New York and various airports for his gala event. They included actress Elizabeth Taylor and her friend Malcolm Forbes, who came with Frank Sinatra. Other stars included Don Johnson and Barbra Streisand, and Jack Nicholson.
Ivana Trump, the promoter's wife, held court at the party.
"This is just phenomenal," she said. "I think it is a little bit like a car race. There is a smell of blood in the air."
University of Miami football Coach Jimmy Johnson cradled a drink near the door and was knocked sideways by Warren Beatty and stampeding photographers. Beatty joined Nicholson and Paul Simon, who sat tensely in a ring of cameras as artist LeRoy Neiman sipped Dom Perignon and sketched them.
Simon slipped on dark glasses, shook his head and muttered, "This is tough." Nicholson smiled, then snapped, "Shut off the damn lights!"
At another table were director Rob Reiner, author Stephen King and comedian Billy Crystal. Also on hand was presidential candidate Jesse Jackson.
The closed circuit TV business was brisk throughout the nation.
"The phones have been ringing since 6 a.m.," publicist Eric Troy Nicolaisen said of a celebrity-studded bash for the benefit at the Malibu Fire Department.
For the $50 general admission price--$100 for VIPs and movie types--250 guests watched two giant screens and ate a buffet dinner prepared in part by the chef from Spago.
Among the guests were Larry Hagman, Rod Stewart, Lee Majors, Ali MacGraw, Burgess Meredith and Mark Harmon.
Lou Duva, who had 72 outlets in New Jersey, reported business as "very good."
About 1,000 people purchased tickets at Ron Jaworski's Eagle's Nest Country Club in Deptford Township, N.J., said Jeanne Webb, a secretary at the country club owned by the former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.
The Holiday Star Theater in Merrillville, about 45 minutes south of Chicago, expected a sellout of 3,400 people.