Gene Hackman defended his wife's honor Tuesday by slapping a homeless man who reportedly called her a c**t, reports TMZ.
Police were called to the scene outside of a Santa Fe, New Mexico restaurant where the 82-year-old actor and his wife Betsy were having lunch.
Hackman reportedly told police that a man, Bruce Becker, approached them in an agressive manor and called his wife a nasty name.
The Oscar winner then dished out what TMZ calls "street justice" and gave the man a slap.
Sgt. Andrea Dobyns confirmed to E!that the man on the receiving end of the slap called authorities at around 1:30 p.m. to report that he had been beaten up by Gene Hackman.
"It looked like Mr. Hackman did this purely out of self-defense to protect himself and his wife," said Dobyns.
AP reportsthat Hackman and his wife have a home in Santa Fe.
Hackman is a two-time Academy Award winner, taking home trophies for his portrayal of Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in "The French Connection" in 1971, and Little Bill Daggett in "Unforgiven" in 1992.