BARCELONA, Spain – Batman star Christian Bale spoke publicly for the first time since allegations surfaced he assaulted his mother and sister at a London hotel, asking the public Thursday for privacy and saying it was a personal matter.
The reported fight between the Welsh-born actor and his mother, Jenny, and sister Sharon centered around a request for cash, the Sun reported, with legal sources telling the British paper they had asked for nearly $200,000 to help raise Sharon's three children.
The Welsh-born actor brushed off questions about the alleged family dispute, saying he preferred to focus on the blockbuster movie "The Dark Knight," which had its Spanish premiere on Wednesday.
"It's a deeply personal matter," Bale told The Associated Press at a news conference at a luxury hotel in Barcelona. "I would ask you to respect my privacy in the matter."
Photo Essay: Bale at Barcelona 'Dark Knight' premiere
Photo Essay: Christian Bale
Photo Essay: Heath Ledger as the Joker
The Sun also reported that Sharon allegedly insulted Bale's wife, Sibi.
The Batman star looked relaxed, dressed casually in a black long sleeve shirt and khaki pants.
Bale, 34, spent four hours talking to British police Tuesday following allegations he assaulted his mother and one of his three sisters in his suite at London's Dorchester Hotel two days earlier. He was released on bail, but not charged.
Bale has said through his lawyers the assault allegations were false.
British media reported that Bale's mother and sister told police he assaulted them at the hotel a day before attending the European premiere of "The Dark Knight."
The drama unfolded even as the movie broke records and was met with critical acclaim. It set a box-office record with $158.4 million during its opening weekend in the U.S. last week, and is expected to do well in Europe.
The film, which stars Bale as Batman and the late Heath Ledger as the superhero's nemesis The Joker, opened in Barcelona at a glittery premiere Wednesday night. Thousands of fans lined the red carpet for a peek at the stars.
Bale paid tribute to Ledger, calling his depiction of The Joker one of the film's triumphs.
"It was an iconic portrayal of The Joker," Bale said, adding Ledger's character had embodied "an agent of chaos."
Bale said he tried to add an edge to his portrayal of Batman as well, inspired by the superhero's complex and mysterious character.
"The bat is not an angelic creature," he said, smiling.
Director and script writer Christopher Nolan said the cast and crew of the movie held nothing back in making the movie.
"We tried to put everything into this movie," Nolan said.
The director also had kind words about Ledger, saying the Australian actor portrayed brilliantly "the dangerous unpredictability of the — Joker — character."
The movie is expected to do well in Spain thanks in part to the publicity which Bale's reported arrest and Ledger's untimely death had spawned, media reports said.
Bale first made a splash as the child star of Steven Spielberg's "Empire of the Sun" in 1987. His screen credits also include "American Psycho," "The Machinist" and "Batman Begins."
Also present at the news conference were actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart and producer Charles Roven.
"One never envisions doing as remarkably well as we did," Roven said of the movie's box office and critical success so far.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.