June 15, 2010 -- Jodie Foster's carefully constructed wall of privacy was punctured recently by a 17-year-old shutterbug who accused the actress of attacking him after he snapped a photo of her with her two sons at a Los Angeles shopping center.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed for ABCNews.com that there is "an ongoing investigation of a misdemeanor battery" but would not release any details.
According to the New York Times, the young photographer filed a police report after the May 29 incident claiming that Foster, 47, had poked him in the chest and grabbed his left arm, causing visible injury.
Foster's spokesperson fought back, telling People magazine that the young man was really "a professional paparazzo." The spokesperson told US Weekly that the actress had merely "touched him on the elbow in an attempt to take him aside to talk to him and tell him to stop."
In any case, the incident has put Foster, one of Hollywood's most private actresses, and her overzealous protection of her personal life under media scrutiny. Single mother to Charles, 11, and Kit, 8, the two-time Academy Award winning actress is intensely guarded about her private life.
"Having grown up a child star, Jodie's always put up an extra wall of privacy around her," Village Voice columnist Michael Musto told ABCNews.com. "Being obsessed by John Hinckley Jr. understandably drove her deeper into self-consciousness and trepidation. On top of that, she's extremely protective of her sons. The photographer apparently trailed her and her kids, and that may have pushed her into overreacting."
According to an unofficial police report, obtained by RadarOnline, the incident occured between 1:50 and 2 p.m. in the valet parking lot of The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles.
"Vict while at The Grove saw susp and began to take pics of susp with his camera then walked to the valet area of The Grove," the report reads. "Susp followed vict, poked him on his chest, grabbed vict by his left arm causing visible injury."
Jodie Foster Accused of Battery
The 17-year-old, whose name has not been released publicly, described the suspect as "Jody Foster," wearing blue jeans and a brown shirt. He lists her weapon as "bodily force."
His father, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to RadarOnline. He denied that his son was a professional photographer -- the police report lists his occupation as student -- and said his son was nothing more than a fan.
"My son was at The Grove with his girlfriend and they were going to see a movie. He saw Jodie Foster and is a big fan so went over and took a picture of her," the father said. "She came after him, poked him in the chest and said, 'Do you even have a mother you slime ball?'"
"Jodie pushed and shoved him leaving scratches and bruises on his arm," the father said.
He said his son was confused and apologized profusely to the actress. "He didn't mouth back at all and was scared of her," the father said. "At one point Jodie's son even came over to my son and apologized. Her kids were really embarrassed."
Foster's spokesperson did not respond immediately to ABCNews.com's request for comment. But, in a statement to Radar, her spokesperson said: "The police report is his side of the story. The guy was a professional photographer with a camera bag and a large lens. He followed Jodie and her two sons from the cinema in The Grove to the valet parking area. He crowded her and her two sons and took pictures the whole time. Jodie told him to stop but he did not do so."
The young man's family told Radar they are not planning to file any legal action against Foster but would like an apology from the actress.
Whether or not an apology is forthcoming, Foster is once again facing questions about the way she conducts her personal life.
In a September 2007 interview with More magazine, Foster made no apologies for the way she guards her private life.
"My life is my life. I'm not going to change my life for anybody. I don't have any problems with it," said the actress who won Oscars for "The Accused" and "Silence of the Lambs" before age 30. "I just don't talk about my health, my dad, who I voted for or what I think of the death penalty, because that would be trivializing my life, selling it for a magazine."
Jodie Foster Strives for Normalcy
In front of cameras since age 3, when she was a Coppertone model, Foster told More she has always strived for a normal life.
"I knew as a young person that if I weren't paying attention, they would take my life away from me," she said. "When I was 7 or 8, I remember them saying, 'Listen, we're going to go to Disneyland. They're going to take a film crew. You're going to bring a friend, and they'll show you going on the rides.' I wasn't much of a rebel. But I was like, 'I don't want to go to Disneyland with a film crew. I just want to go to Disneyland.'"
An experience while she was a freshman at Yale only reinforced those feelings. In a bid to impress Foster, John Hinckley, Jr., who became obsessed with the actress while watching "Taxi Driver," tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan. Foster receded further behind her wall of privacy.
"Suddenly I understood something I hadn't understood before," she told More. "I saw ahead of me the life I had been leading, and I didn't want to be Tom Cruise."
Similarly, she has tried to shield her boys from the Hollywood publicity machine. Foster, who has refused to divulge who fathered her sons, periodically disappears from public life so she can be hands-on raising her sons.
"I didn't want to live a kingly life. So a lot of the decisions that I made for myself and, by extension, for them were about keeping our lives real, about letting them have privacy and dignity," she told More in a 2005 interview. "And in terms of their paternity, I say the same thing: When they're 20, why don't you go ask them? They'll tell you or they won't. But it's really their business."
Clearly as her sons get older, shielding them from the spotlight will become more difficult. At least one of them, Charles, seems more drawn to it than she does. Foster told More that Charles said he wanted to be in movies but wasn't interested when she suggested that he start acting in the theater.
"I just want to be famous and see my face," he told her.
Jodie Foster in 'Glass Closet'
Foster told the magazine that Charles sometimes strikes a funny pose when he sees the paparazzi, saying to his mother "Why can't we? Why can't I get photographed? I like it!"
Foster has also famously evaded questions about her sexuality. Though she's never denied being gay, she's never come out either, leading columnist Musto to say she lives in a "glass closet."
For 14 years, she was linked to movie producer Cydney Bernard. Bernard adopted Foster's two children and the two women wore matching Tiffany eternity rings on their wedding fingers.
In December 2007, Foster made her first public acknowledgement of Bernard, calling her "my beautiful Cydney, who sticks with me through the rotten and the bliss," while accepting an award at a Los Angeles film gala.
Five months later, media reports circulated that the long-time couple had broken up.
Musto believes that if Foster leaves the glass closet, she's less likely to be involved in incidents like the one with the young photographer.
"I think coming out of the glass closet could only be a positive step for her," he said. "It would take her from the shadows and into openness and make her feel like there's way less to hide."