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Russell Brand arrested over iPhone toss

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Russell Brand was taken into custody by New Orleans police on Thursday and booked for simple criminal damage after a photographer accused the British comedian and actor of grabbing his iPhone and tossing it through a window, authorities said.

Bail was set at $5,000 for Brand, said New Orleans police spokesman Officer Garry Flot. Brand was released shortly after his arrest, according to the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office.

Celebrity website TMZ posted photos of "Get Him to the Greek" star Brand, in a dark jacket and torn jeans pulling an iPhone from a man in a car. Another photo on the site shows a broken window through which Brand was said to have thrown the phone.

The paparazzi photographer filed a police report over the incident, which happened on Monday.

Flot said he did not know where Brand was arrested or whether the actor turned himself or was taken into custody against his will.

A spokesman for Brand could not be reached for comment.

But Brand defended himself with an ironic comment on his Twitter page on Wednesday. "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iPhone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory," Brand said.

Brand and pop star Katy Perry finalized their high-profile divorce earlier this year, ending a marriage that lasted just over a year.

The star of such films as "Arthur" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" has had numerous run-ins with the law over the years, and he has been public about his past drug use.

Last year, he was deported from Japan over his criminal history when he was trying to visit Perry on her concert tour in the country. In 2010, he was arrested for an alleged attack on a paparazzi at a Los Angeles airport.

(Reporting By Kathy Finn: Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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