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Gene Hackman slaps homeless man in New Mexico, police say

GeneHackman.jpg

Actor Gene Hackman waves to fans prior to the premiere of the animated film "ANTZ" at the Toronto International Film Festival, September 19. (Reuters)

Police in New Mexico say Gene Hackman was acting in self-defense when he slapped a homeless man who had become aggressive toward the Oscar-winning actor and his wife.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the incident occurred Tuesday afternoon in downtown Santa Fe.

Police didn't immediately provide any additional details. A message seeking comment was left for Hackman's publicists at Guttman Associates in Beverly Hills, California.

Hackman and his wife have a home in Santa Fe.

The 82-year-old actor has won two Academy Awards and been nominated for three others over a career that has spanned five decades.

Hackman took the Best Actor trophy for his portrayal of Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in "The French Connection" in 1971, and the Best Supporting Actor award for "Unforgiven" in 1992.

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