British singer [artist id="2490602"]Leona Lewis[/artist] is still shaken and distraught after a man attacked her during a book signing on Wednesday.
Lewis, 24, was punched in the head while autographing copies of her recently released autobiography “Dreams” at a Waterstone’s outlet in London’s Piccadilly neighborhood. The “Bleeding Love” singer was suddenly attacked by a man who had been waiting in line but then unexpectedly struck her before being detained by Lewis’ handlers and store security. Lewis fled the scene with her hand covering her face and was taken to a hospital as a precaution. She did not need treatment for her injuries.
Peter Kowalczyk, 29, was charged with common assault for allegedly attacking Lewis and is being held under the Mental Health Act at a psychiatric hospital, according to BBC News. Lewis canceled a promotional visit to Germany on Thursday (October 16) in the wake of the attack.
In a statement released on Thursday, Lewis said she was still in “horrible shock” and that the assault had left her “extremely hurt and upset.” The BBC reported that Lewis’ spokesperson said she had been signing books for about 90 minutes when Kowalczyk — who reportedly waited in line for five hours to meet the singer — walked up and punched her.
An eyewitness to the incident told the BBC that Kowalczyk was laughing as he was being reprimanded by officials. “She was running out with her hand over her eye and I just saw a man on the floor,” the fan said. “Suddenly the security all jumped on him and they were trying to pull him out and he was just laughing, he thought it was funny.”
On Friday, England’s Sun reported that Kowalczyk was a reject from the British talent show “X Factor” — which Lewis won in 2006 — and that he was jealous of the singer’s success. Kowalczyk is slated to appear in court on the charges on October 26.
The Grammy-nominated singer’s second album, Echo, is scheduled for release next month.