HOLLYWOOD — Ron Jeremy says TMZ got the facts wrong in a story about a paparazzo attacking Jeremy and friends with pepper spray at Mel's Diner early Sunday morning.
TMZ.com initially reported that the paparazzo, Nasim Saleh, confronted Jeremy and his party while they were in the middle of chowing down at the popular late-night dining spot on the Sunset Strip.
"We're told Saleh began taking pictures and getting too in their business, when someone at the table stood up and objected," the celebrity gossip site claimed. "Our sources say that's when Saleh allegedly pepper-sprayed the dude, sending fumes wafting around the diner."
But Jeremy told AVN that he and Moonlite Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof were already inside the restaurant and unaware of the scuffle while the confrontation was taking place at the door.
"[Saleh] sent someone into the diner to ask if we'd do interviews, and we said, 'No problem! We'd be glad to when we get out," Jeremy said. "So someone was rude to the guy and said, 'Get lost, they don't want to bother with you.' We never said that. Someone just thought that we didn't want to get bothered. This is not Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears. We like attention."
Jeremy said the paparazzo may have acted in self-defense, as witnesses claim someone threatened Saleh with a knife while attempting to shoo him from the premises.
"So he had every right to pepper spray," Jeremy said. "We're not too sure. But the fact we do know is that somebody did get pepper sprayed by the paparazzi guy."
Saleh was arrested for criminal use of tear gas and taken into custody. Although Saleh reportedly claimed to be a TMZ photographer, he is not.
Jeremy got a kick out of TMZ's punchline to the story: that the legendary Hedgehog never stopped eating his pastrami sandwich during the entire incident.
Even better, Jeremy gloated, was the fact that his friend Hof didn't rate a mention in TMZ's report.
"Six seasons of HBO's 'Cathouse' and they didn't even put Dennis Hof's name in there — he didn't even exist," Jeremy laughed. "It was Ron Jeremy and a pastrami sandwich, not Dennis and his bowl of soup. So I want to rub that in his face every chance I get. It bothered him; he didn't act like it did, but it did."