Gerard Depardieu is in hot water again after an alleged road rage incident in the middle of Paris in which the French film star admitted he may have gone "a bit over the top."
A Parisian driver has accused Depardieu of punching him in the face after he swerved his car into the path of the actor's scooter in the chic left-bank quarter of the French capital earlier this week.
"There was a car, the driver wasn't paying attention and 'paf!'" Depardieu told RTL radio on Friday.
"It was more a case of fear than anything else," he added. "My reaction was a bit over the top but I was very, very scared. That's it. Full stop. That's all there is to it. It was as stupid as that."
Police have not yet decided whether to follow up the driver's complaint, which Depardieu claimed had only been lodged because of his celebrity status.
"There are people who see me and immediately file a complaint," he said. "It's the price of celebrity, as the idiots would say."
Depardieu, 63, is arguably the outstanding French actor of his generation but he has cut an increasingly troubled figure in recent years, regularly seeming to be under the influence of alcohol on his public appearances.
In 2005 he headbutted a photographer taking pictures of him at a market in the Italian city of Florence.
A year ago he generated headlines around the world after urinating in a bottle during a Paris-Dublin flight after being denied access to the toilets because the plane was taking off.