The Manalapan man charged with throwing a cell phone at singer Bebe Rexha in New York is telling two different stories about why he did it.

Todd Spodek, the lawyer for Nicholas Malvagna, 27, told reporters after a court hearing Monday that it was part of a TikTok trend of throwing a phone (WARNING: LANGUAGE), which is picked up by a celebrity who takes a selfie.

"I don't think he had any intention whatsoever to hurt the singer," Spodek said.

In court, Malvagna said he thought Rexha was looking in his direction when he tossed the phone and hit her above her left eye. However, in a complaint obtained by CBS New York, Malvagna told another concertgoer he thought it would be "funny" to hit Rexha with the phone.

Malvagna was released without bail pending a July 31 court date. A restraining order was also issued for Malvagna to stay away from Rexha.

The singer early Monday afternoon posted a picture on her Instagram of a small bandage over a cut above her left eye giving the thumbs up.

"I'm good," Rexha wrote.

In the complaint, she told police she was in "substantial pain."

Not the first time

The idea of throwing phones at singers is not new and has had mixed results.

During his "Believe" tour in 2013 at the Prudential Center in Newark, Justin Bieber got a bit annoyed when phones landed on stage. He handed them back to the crowd but didn't take pictures.

"I say don't throw stuff on stage and they throw a phone. I did neeed a new iPhone," Bieber said as he shoved it down the front of his pants before giving it back to loud cheers.

Thrown phone ends a concert

Steve Lacy was caught on video during a 2022 concert in New Orleans stopping a song when he was hit in the torso by a cell phone. He then asked the crowd not to "throw s**t on his f**kin' stage."

Lacey then asked a fan for their phone, which was handed over. He threw it hard to the floor and then walked off, ending the concert.

"I had a really good time in nola (New Orleans)  last night. I hate that the beauty of the connection I have with so many people in the crowd gets lost when something negative happens," Lacey later said in a statement to TMZ.

Harry Styles takes a photo with a fan's cell phone at Madison Square Garden
Harry Styles takes a photo with a fan's cell phone at Madison Square Garden (@hsdlot via Twitter)


Harry Styles did go along with the trend at Madison Square Garden in September when he was handed a phone. Video shows him playfully saying "no" to a fan who tried to hand their phone to him.

Styles took the phone and told the crowd "I'll let social media shine" as he smiled brightly for a selfie, according to a video. (WARNING: Language). He took several other photos during the concert, according to a report by

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

LOOK: Famous actors from New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of famous actors born in New Jersey from IMDb.

UPDATED: All the stores where NJ legal weed is sold

The number of recreational cannabis dispensaries continues to grow, since the first NJ adult recreational sales in April 2022.

These are the best NJ high schools for sports

Stacker put together a list of the best high schools for sports across New Jersey — using data from Niche that included sports championships, family surveys, student enrollment, athletic participation rate and sports options. Here's the top 25.

More From New Jersey 101.5 FM