CATHERINE ZETA-JONES and Michael Douglas were in a scuffle with the paparazzi just hours after the Swansea-born star collected a CBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.
Video footage of the incident, which emerged over the weekend, shows the aftermath of a media scrum which began when Zeta-Jones and her husband were chauffeured back to their Westminster hotel in London after a dinner with friends at Gordon Ramsay’s Claridge’s hotel restaurant.
The 41-year-old had earlier attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace with the couple’s two children, Dylan, 10, and Carys, seven.
The pair are filmed trying to make their way through a group of photographers and Zeta-Jones can be heard shouting: “How dare you punch me.”
She is seen clutching her chin and lip and demands: “I want a police officer right now. He punched me. The guy coming in here, he punched me.”
In the footage, which is already racking up thousands of hits on video sharing websites, Michael Douglas is then seen to his help his wife before hotel security intervened in the incident.
Douglas recently declared he had won a well-publicised battle with throat cancer but still requires monthly checks.
Speaking afterwards, a representative for Douglas said: “You saw it for yourself. Otherwise, the trip and the ceremony were fabulous and such a joy for everyone.”
Thursday’s scuffle is the latest in a string of clashes between Zeta-Jones and the paparazzi.
In 2003 the couple won a landmark court ruling after claiming that a photographer who sneaked into their wedding had invaded their privacy.
During the case Catherine told the court how she was once scared by a photographer who jumped out of a doorway at night to get a shot of her.
On another occasion, she crashed her car into a lamppost trying to escape from a photographer.
Later, Zeta-Jones was driving her son in California when photographers for a British tabloid paper crashed into them.
Under Californian law, drivers have to get out of the car to exchange details.
She told London’s High Court at the time: “They immediately jumped out of their car and took photographs of me looking furious at the side of the road.
“They then published them in an article about me being consumed by road rage.
“This incident made me very angry.”
Publicist Max Clifford said each case of paparazzi intrusion should be judged separately.
“I’m sure that in some cases a line has been crossed and in others the star is being a little precious,” he said.
“In this latest case with Catherine, only she and the people involved know exactly what took place.”
He added: “The thing I tell all the stars that I have represented is that they must expect and put up with a degree of it. Of course the days when the paparazzi played the game are long gone, in fact these days anyone with a camera or even a mobile phone is a member of the paparazzi.
“It has got harder for people to live with and I sympathise with that, but of course there are certainly cases where the celebrity is being a little precious.”
A spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said there had been no complaint and no investigation was taking place.