LOS ANGELES — The ex-journalist who was arrested after jostling with Brad Pitt at a film premiere last week said Monday he was merely trying to give the actor a hug and didn’t mean him any harm.

Vitalii Sediuk, a former Ukrainian television reporter, told The Associated Press in an interview that he was in a fan area of the event that was open to the public when he went in to give the actor a hug. Sediuk, 25, has gained a reputation for outlandish pranks on red carpets in Moscow, Los Angeles and last month at the Cannes Film Festival, when he crawled underneath America Ferrera’s dress at a film premiere.

His contact with Pitt, which caused the actor to lose balance while he was signing autographs at the “Maleficent” film premiere on Wednesday, led to Sediuk’s arrest. He spent two days in jail before pleading no contest to battery and unlawful activity at a sporting or entertainment event and was sentenced Friday to three years of probation and a year’s worth of psychiatric counseling.

“I’m a normal guy,” Sediuk said. “I’m not crazy.”

The 6-foot-2 native of Boryspil, Ukraine, said he initially wasn’t near the front of the fan area where Pitt was signing autographs last week, but saw paparazzi leave one area and headed for it. He said he stood on a metal railing and reached over to give Pitt a hug, toppling onto the carpet area as security grabbed him.

Sediuk, who has hugged the crotches of Bradley Cooper and Leonardo Di Caprio and crashed the 2013 Grammy Awards, said the primary purpose for his pranks is entertainment. “I’m doing this for fun,” he said.