NYC
05/11/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Tommy Hilfiger: I Hit Axl Rose 'Before He Could Hit Me'

Designer Tommy Hilfiger is finally coming clean on why he clocked rocker Axl Rose at Plumm in 2006.

According to the blog Poison Ivy, in a discussion with Worth Magazine Editor-in-Chief Richard Bradley Wednesday night at the French Institute Alliance Francaise's Fashion Talks series, Hilfiger claimed the punch was in self-defense.

Axl pushed me [out of the way], and I said 'That was rude.' [He turned around and] had a huge ring on. He wears all this jewelry. [I'm thinking], if I get hit, it's over. No teeth, no eye. So I hit him before he hit me. It was self-protection. Now we're friends.

No word on whether or not Hilfiger joined his "friend" Rose on his recent three-week bender around town.