Christian Bale‘s dispute with his family Sunday night reportedy involved "pushing" over a longtime family issue. He’s been released after a few hours of questioning by police.

What the family dispute was, we may never know.

Bale’s family may not be quite as dark and complicated as Bruce Wayne’s. But it’s still the stuff of novels.

Christian’s mother, Jenny Bale, was a circus dancer and clown.

Davidbale___gloriasteinemHis dad, David Bale, was a handsome, dashing South Africa-born entrepreneur, commercial pilot and environmental and animal activist.

He also did a bit of acting himself, playing a prison guard in "The Rising of the Moon" in 2002.

And Christian’s stepmother is none other than Gloria Steinem, feminist author and icon.

Gloria, then 66, married Bale’s dad in 2000. At the time of their marriage, he was facing deportation due to an expired U.S. visa. Both said that had nothing to do with why they married.

He died from a brain tumor on Dec. 30, 2003, at age 62. To read Gloria’s memorial about Bale, written for the 2004 Genesis Awards, click here.

According to, Christian’s three sisters are musician Erin Bale, computer professional Sharon Bale and director-actress Louise Bale, who appeared in "Newsies" (1992).

It was Louise who introduced young Christian to acting. It was Sharon who reportedly went to the police with their mother.

Bale used to share a Manhattan Beach home with Louise, an award-winning producer and director.

Ironically, before Christian played Batman in "Batman Begins" (2005), Louise played Batman’s mother in "The Death of Batman" (2003)

Photos: Christian Bale at the Dark Knight" premiere. David Bale and Gloria Steinem in New York.

Posted by:Elizabeth Snead