NEW YORK -- The man accused of throwing a phone at singer Bebe Rexha during a Manhattan concert appeared before a judge Monday night.
His attorney said he did it because of a social media trend.
Nicolas Malvagna, 27, of Manalapan, New Jersey, was silent as he left Manhattan Criminal Court, released on his own recognizance.
He's facing charges of assault and harassment for allegedly throwing a phone at Rexha during her concert Sunday night at Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport.
Monday, the singer, a Brooklyn native, posted a video on TikTok, saying, "I'm good. Yeah, I'm feeling alright."
On Instagram, she shared photos of her freshly bruised left eye and a cut near her eyebrow which required stitches.
The criminal complaint says she told an officer she was in "substantial pain" afterward.
The judge issued an order of protection against Malvagna.
"I think this is a common, unfortunate trend that's going on that a lot of concertgoers do. I don't think he had any intention whatsoever to hurt the singer," Malvagna's lawyer, Todd Spodek, said.
In court, Spodek said Malvagna told an officer that this was part of a TikTok trend where a phone is thrown on stage and a celebrity catches it, takes a selfie and then gives it back. He allegedly said he thought Rexha was looking in his direction.
Concertgoer Ross Bernaud says Rexha was thanking the crowd for a great show when it happened. He posted videos of the immediate aftermath.
"It was a huge bang, and we were like, wait, that was something heavy," Bernaud said. "We did feel like it was very intentional."
In the complaint, a civilian claims Malvagna told him a different reason for throwing the phone. He says security asked who threw the phone and Malvagna says "I did" and added, "I was trying to see if I could hit her with the phone at the end of the show because it would be funny."
Malvagna's attorney, who also represented Anna Delvey, denies that his client meant to hurt the singer.
We reached out to the singer's rep for comment, but did not hear back. She is scheduled to perform in Philadelphia on Tuesday.
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