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'Kony 2012' director hospitalized after exhibiting bizarre behavior

March 17, 2012 -- Updated 0057 GMT (0857 HKT)


(CNN) -- The director of a documentary about a notorious Ugandan warlord that went viral after its release this month was picked up by police Thursday in San Diego after several people reported a man running through the streets in his underwear, screaming, sources said Friday.

While San Diego police declined to provide the identity of the 33-year-old man, an official familiar with the case confirmed him to be Jason Russell.

Police said the man, who 911 callers said was interfering with traffic and acting irrationally, was not arrested and was transported to a local medical facility.

Russell is one of the founders of the San Diego-based nonprofit group Invisible Children, which produced the half-hour film about warlord Joseph Kony. "Kony 2012" skyrocketed to popularity on YouTube, propelled by thousands of posts on Twitter and Facebook, garnering nearly 80 million views since its March 5 release.

Ben Keesey, the group's chief executive, issued a statement Friday confirming that Russell was hospitalized for "exhaustion, dehydration and malnutrition."

"The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday," Keesey said.

The popularity of the film led to a flurry of media appearances for Russell and his fellow Invisible Children co-founders and prompted scrutiny from some who argued that the social media frenzy was too little, too late.

The group has said it hopes the film and other efforts will make Kony a household name and drum up international support to halt killings, rapes, abuses and abductions committed by his group, the Lord's Resistance Army, in central Africa.

Kony has operated in central Africa for two decades and is wanted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court. In October, the United States sent 100 combat-equipped troops on a mission to kill or capture Kony.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/16/world/africa/uganda-viral-video/i...

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Comment by Trudy on March 18, 2012 at 5:10am

Man shows up for job interview naked, high on meth + vid http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/03/man-shows-up-for-job-...

Comment by Rebecca Shannon Ling on March 17, 2012 at 9:33am

Russell, co-founder of Invisible Children, allegedly vandalised cars and made sexual gestures while wearing his underwear, guardian.co.uk, Saturday 17 March 2012 02.42 GMT

URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/16/kony-2012-campaigner-de...

Comment by Trudy on March 17, 2012 at 3:58am

If this young man has come into contact with lots of money, say a few million, it requires strong legs to be able to bear the wealth.
The use of hard drugs like cocaine, speed and extasy pills brings forward this kind of behavior and dries out the body!!!

Or it is a theather to bring attention to Kony 2012, because the rumor that it all is a scam, spread very fast. Now the story can be told, that he was under mind control... see no scam!!! Yeah sure ...

Comment by ian on March 17, 2012 at 3:21am

Very strange, regardless of what the point of the film was, this man makes quite a bit of money to be malnourished. 

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