Sports Illustrated supermodel Jessica White was arrested Saturday morning after she allegedly hit a woman repeatedly in the face in a vicious catfight over a taxi outside a downtown club. White, who’s been dating Sean Penn, was charged with misdemeanor assault and released after allegedly yanking the woman’s hair and striking her face with her hand.
According to witnesses, White walked to 10th Avenue at about 4:50 a.m. to hail a taxi after leaving a Chelsea club. But while standing on the corner of West 17th Street, she got into a dispute with “a 28-year-old woman.” According to the court complaint, White “pulled the victim’s hair and struck [the victim] numerous times in the face with her hand, causing abrasions, swelling and substantial pain.” White, a rough-and-tumble native of Buffalo, is no stranger to trouble with the law. According to reports, she once allegedly damaged a girl’s car with a baseball bat during an argument when she was a teenager.
Fashion-industry insiders describe the swimsuit beauty as a “firecracker.” “She was troublesome on shoots,” said one source. “She would chain-smoke on set, snap at the hairdressers and the makeup artists. She changed agencies several times because she’s supposedly difficult to work with.” White has been represented by IMG Modeling, One Model Management, Wilhelmina Models and Elite Model Management, and recently re-signed with IMG.
Her on-again, off-again boyfriend Penn is a hothead himself, having had several run-ins with paparazzi. In February, he was sentenced to three years’ probation and 300 hours of community service for kicking a photographer. His fiery relationship with ex-wife Madonna led the pair to be dubbed “The Poison Penns.”
Reps for IMG deferred comment to White’s lawyer, Jeffrey Mennen, who said, “The police report doesn’t sound like Jessica, and she must have been provoked.”