Fan allegedly assaulted for taking pic of Patrick Stewart in Montreal

Pop Goes The News — A fan of Sir Patrick Stewart claims he was assaulted Wednesday afternoon near the set of the actor’s new movie The Gift in Montreal.

The 37-year-old man was riding his bicycle on Saint-Urbain Street approaching Ontario Street when he spotted Stewart, wearing a tuxedo and carrying an iPad.

When Stewart stopped to take a photo with his co-star Giancarlo Esposito, the longtime fan of the man who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation raised his iPhone.

A crew member from the film suddenly stepped in front of the iPhone and grabbed both the device and man’s hands. The crew member backed away only when accused of committing an assault and upon learning that the confrontation was being recorded by a third party.

“You can’t take a picture of someone who doesn’t want their picture taken,” the unidentified crew person said. “It’s a Canadian law.”

Of course, that’s not true.

Photography is legal anywhere a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to Section 162 of the Criminal Code. Quebec’s Civil Code offers some additional privacy rights but the Supreme Court has ruled these do not apply to people who are in the public eye, including celebrities.

Moments after the altercation, Stewart stopped to sign prints and memorabilia for a trio of professional autograph vendors. Noticing someone taking his picture, the X-Men star snapped: “You’re an asshole.”

Stewart celebrates his 77th birthday on Thursday.

The Gift, which also stars Katie Holmes, is being directed by Quebec’s Claude Lalonde. You can see on-location photos of the stars here and here.