After an employee at the Upper West Side Apple Store called the cops on actor Richard Belzer, accusing him of choking her on Tuesday, the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star has a conspiracy theory: He's too famous! He told the Daily News, "I guess she was trying to shake me down. She clearly knew who I was. Sometimes when you are a celebrity, people try to take advantage of you."
Cops declined to press charges against Belzer after reviewing the store's security tape but Apple staffer Milan Agnew maintains that Belzer put his hands around her throat (he says he simply put his hands on her shoulders) after she asked if he needed help. Belzer told the Post, "She wanted attention and she knew who I was and I clearly didn't assault her. It's surprising that Apple would not apologize to such a high-profile, good customer. I've spent thousands of dollars there. I don't want her to be fired, I just want her to seek help." And to the News, "It's too bad our fine police officers had to waste their time. They should ticket the girl."
However, Agnew, who filed a harassment complaint, says "I'm not star struck by anyone. I approached him like he was a regular customer. I asked how can I help you. He told me what he needed, and then before I was able to speak again, he lunges in and grabs my neck. It was no gentle manner. There is no gentle manner to grab someone's neck."
Belzer, who did admit to TMZ that he shouldn't have invaded Agnew's personla space, also want everyone to know he doesn't hold it against the store, "I've never had even the slightest rudeness like this at the Apple store. They're all great. I think you have to pass a personality test to work there, and I don't know how this woman slipped through the cracks."