Kanye West is being sued by a paparazzo over an alleged assault at Los Angeles International Airport -- and surprisingly, Gloria Allred is at the helm of the lawsuit.
The famed civil rights attorney is representing a photographer who got into a physical altercation with West. The photog's video captured the rapper lunging at him in an attempt to grab the camera away from him after a verbal spat.
The paparazzo is alleging assault, battery and interference with his civil rights.
Assault and Battery
Any offensive contact with a person's body can be considered battery.
Daniel Ramos, the paparazzo who apparently never learned the golden rule that you don't talk to Kanye West, verbally engaged the notoriously angry rapper at LAX. Kanye, amidst a flurry of white flashes, reportedly said to Ramos, "What you're trying to do is get me in trouble so I step out and have to pay you like $250,000," reports Spin Magazine.
What can we say, Yeezus has prophetic power -- because soon thereafter, Kanye was allegedly throwing punches at Ramos and trying to wrestle away his camera.
Ramos reportedly needed crutches for two weeks following the incident and still uses a cane because of pain.
Interference With Civil Rights
Ramos is also claiming the confrontation violated the his free speech rights as a photographer. Though paparazzi may not be held in the highest esteem in the realm of journalism, they are members of the free press who are protected by the First Amendment.
If Kanye attacked Ramos with the goal of preventing Ramos from doing his job -- to disseminate information to the public -- then that could be perceived as an effort to chill news-gathering (Yes, believe it or not, chatting with celebrities donning oversized sunglasses at LAX can arguably count as "news-gathering").
No Felony Charges
From the criminal side, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office has declined to pursue felony charges against Mr. Yeezus, because they felt Ramos wasn't seriously injured. Also, it wasn't clear whether the camera was even damaged. However, the city attorney's office may charge 'Ye with a misdemeanor, reports Spin.
In all likelihood, Kanye and his lawyers will settle the case before he can manage to blow yet another fuse and invite more legal trouble that could very well top his silicone Greek tragedy prophecy of having to shell out $250K to a vindictive photog.
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- Justin Bieber's Paparazzo Run-In Wasn't Hit-and-Run, Cops Say (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Justin Bieber Chase Lead to Anti-Paparazzi Law Prosecution for Photog? (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)