Russell Brand has claimed he grabbed a photographer's iPhone and threw it through a window as "a tribute" to Apple boss Steve Jobs who died last year.

The controversial comic grabbed the phone while a photographer was using it to take pictures of him in New Orleans and threw it away, smashing the window of a nearby office, according to website TMZ.

Russell tweeted his fans: "Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iphone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory."

The Essex-born star split from his wife, pop star Katy Perry, last year after 14 months of marriage.

The couple met at the MTV Video Music Awards in September 2009 and married in a lavish ceremony in India in October 2010.

But rumours of cracks in their relationship circulated right from the start as their respective careers meant they were rarely even in the same country.