Paparazzi and celebrities have always been poles apart, at daggers’ ends, enemies for life. These two have to lead a life of constant chase; it’s only natural that celebs’ attitude to paparazzi is a complicated mixture of resentment, contempt, and sometimes outright hate.
Now and then this attitude is apt to burst out into aggression, and it happens maybe more often than we know. But when luminaries get really enraged and go overboard, things can become tough for the guys with cameras. It’s a moot question whether violence is understandable in such cases; anyway, when the occasions were processed in court, there was no single instant of a paparazzi winning the case.
Here are several vivid examples of fury-driven clashes between the two.
1. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake have always been dangerous ones for camera-armed stalkers. Either of them is hot-tempered and paps would be well advised to be on guard when around them. In 2004, Diaz managed to snatch a photographer’s camera and broke into a run. She might have acquired the camera as a keepsake, but she was photographed as she was making her getaway.
2. Avril Lavigne
Avril Lavigne doesn’t resort to violence, but her hatred of paparazzi was expressed so many times – as soon as she feels she’s had enough, she goes not very feminine and spits at them. Not very harmful but neither it is very pleasant, eh?
3. Chris Martin
Coldplay’s Chris Martin didn’t want to steal the camera from an importunate photog – but he decided to teach him a lesson even if he overstepped the line. So he broke in the windshield of the man’s car and slashed the tires thus ensuring that he will no longer be followed. The police took him in, but the charge didn’t stick.
4. Woody Harrelson
Woody Harrelson, on the other hand, chose to inflict corporal damage. When a TMZ pap got his bristles up in 2006, the actor had the man by the throat and tried to wring his head off, after which he demolished his camera. He was charged, but Los Angeles policemen took a stand against the paparazzo.
5. Matthew McConaughey
Many other people seem to be ready to take the stars’ side against the bothersome team. As Matthew McConaughey was pursuing his surfing hobby one fine afternoon in Malibu, Calif., some paparazzi showed up on the shore. This caused irritation among the local folks who tried to stop them from spoiling their pal’s fun, resulting in a smashed camera and its owner kicked about.
6. Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant thought of other ways to fend off the troublesome kin apart from going at them or their ammo with harmful intent. It is believed that, when bothered in 2006, he just picked up a tub of baked beans and hurled it at the photog. The man had to withdraw soiled, defeated and confused.
7. Britney Spears
Britney Spears was even known to have gone out with a paparazzo, but they got under her skin, too, making her charge at an SUV and a few paps back in 2000 with whatever weapon was handy to grab with a face that displayed all her emotions.
8. Kanye West
Kanye West doesn’t need any provocation, or so it seems, for he just went to take toll of photographers before boarding a plane from LAX for what looked like no apparent reason. He got hold of a camera, threw it on the ground and did things to it which led to a lawsuit and a court procedure coming on in October.
Another one who just can’t stand paparazzi on sight is singer Bjork, who was alleged to attack a journalist without good reason. As she and her daughter landed in New Zealand, Bjork felt like getting her claws into somebody, and a welcoming pressman got on the wrong side of her.
10. Sean Penn
Sean Penn is the one to scare cameras off paparazzi in a matter of minutes! No wonder his example wasn’t followed by anyone, for he had to clear out pronto after a clash with a stalking photog near his hotel room in 1986 in China, where he was on the set of Shanghai Surprise. Finding a guy trying to get a pic of him after a long day, Penn flew into a rage and all but threw the fellow down from the 9th floor balcony – at least he dangled him in the void, holding him by the ankles. Once again, finally he got away with it. But what if he had failed to hold on to him?