The man behind one of the world's most successful viral videos has been
placed in psychiatric care after he was found naked, screaming and
banging his fists on the pavement.
Jason Russell was held for alleged lewd conduct and suspicion of being drunk by police in San Diego, California.
Mr Russell's 30-minute narrated documentary about Ugandan war lord Joseph Kony became a huge online hit last week after being endorsed by a host of celebrities.
Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and other celebrity supporters helped promote the video.
(Jason) has never had a substance abuse or drinking
problem, and this episode wasn’t caused by either of those things - but
yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and
Jason Russell's wife Danica
According to San Diego police
Lieutenant Andra Brown, the 33-year-old filmmaker was also found to be
vandalising cars during Thursday morning's apparent meltdown.
"Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested," Lt Brown said.
"During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying."
Celebrity gossip website TMZ published a video apparently of Russell at a junction, violently hitting the pavement while yelling abuse.
It said Mr Russell was sectioned under what is known as a "5150 psychiatric hold" so authorities can assess his mental state.
Medical experts are allowed to hold patients under the law for up to
three days to determine if they risk self-harm or are a threat to
Joseph Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court
More than 80 million people have viewed the Kony 2012 YouTube video by US charity Invisible Children in just over a week.
A representative for the San Diego-based charity blamed Russell's
strange behaviour on his work load promoting the film, which has come under fire for being 'simplistic'.
"Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalised suffering from exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition," CEO Ben Keesey said.
"The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us,
Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate
According to the police department he was possibly under the
influence of something, however, his wife Danica later released a
statement and denied substance abuse was involved.
"(Jason) has never had a substance abuse or drinking problem, and
this episode wasn't caused by either of those things," she said.
"But yes, he did some irrational things brought on by extreme exhaustion and dehydration."
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