BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Actor Omar Sharif pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he assaulted a valet who refused to accept his European currency.
Sharif, 73, was not required to be in court and his plea was entered through his lawyer. A pretrial hearing was set for Jan. 10.
According to a civil lawsuit filed in October by the valet, Sharif and a female companion were leaving a steakhouse in Beverly Hills on June 11 when the actor became upset that his Porsche SUV was not waiting.
Sharif was belligerent and intoxicated and called the valet a "stupid Mexican" when he refused to accept a 20 euro note, the lawsuit claimed.
Juan Anderson, the Guatemalan immigrant who is suing, alleged Sharif then punched him. Anderson is seeking $50,000 in civil penalties, unspecified damages and attorney fees.
Police spokesman Lt. Mitch McCann said Anderson declined medical treatment and had no visible injuries.
One of Sharif's lawyers, Martin Singer, has said the actor didn't hit the valet and was being targeted because he's famous.
In 2003, Sharif was convicted of striking a police officer at a casino near Paris. He received a one-month suspended sentence and a $1,700 fine.
The Egyptian-born actor is best known for roles in "Dr. Zhivago" and "Lawrence of Arabia."