An undoubtable downside to celeb-life is the pesky paparazzi. A majority of the time they mean no harm and are just trying to get one shot of a celebrity, but sometimes photogs take it to another level, and intentionally rile up a star by repeating salacious rumors, or like in the case of Sean Penn’s paparazzi feud, invade a celebrity’s privacy by entering their home or hotel room. Earlier this month, Kanye West found himself in some legal trouble after wrestling a paparazzi to the ground in an attempt to take his camera outside LAX. Luckily, his felony robbery charge was soon dropped, but the West vs. photog freakout prompted us to look back at the most infamous celebrity vs paparazzi feuds we’ve seen go down. From Britney Spears’s attack of the umbrellas, to Lamar Odom’s flip out after a photog dared to suggest he was cheating on Khloe Kardashian, check out the top 15 celebrity vs. photog showdowns that rocked Hollywood.
In 2007 pre-conservatorship Britney was stalked by the paparazzi; from her baby-dropping incident that fueled parenting criticisms, to her crotch shots seen around the world – Brit-Brit went from pop icon to tabloid darling for the better half of that year. Then the umbrella attack happened. After pleading with the papz for privacy, the then bald-headed Britney lost her cool on a photog who refused to put down the camera during one of Britney’s bizarre outings, and began attacking his car with an umbrella. Spears checked into rehab shortly after the freakout.
Halle Berry & Olivier Martinez
Halle Berry has an ongoing feud with photographers who snap photos of her daughter Nahla. The first of Halle vs. paparazzi showdowns happened in 2012 when the actress went off on photographers who were waiting outside Nahla’s school. Creepy. A year later, after arriving in Los Angeles with Halle Berry and her daughter, Berry’s fiance Olivier Martinez got physical with a photog who would not listen to Berry’s orders to “get away” because Nahla was present, and allegedly kicked him on his legs and wrists multiple times.
Yeezus has made it clear that he’s no fan of the shutterbugs. In 2008 the rapper was arrested for vandalism and later charged with misdemeanor battery, grand theft and vandalism, and faced up to 2 1/2 years in jail after smashing a photographer’s camera outside LAX. Just this month, West got into another scuffle with the paparazzi (again) outside LAX. The paparazzi was egging West on while feverishly snapping photos until West snapped, and wrestled the photog to the ground for his camera. Kanye West was a felony robbery suspect until charges and investigation were later dropped. Good thing for Kanye since the new dad surely doesn’t have time to be making court appearances.
Russell Brand’s first paparazzi brawl happened after a photog attempted to shoot up Katy Perry’s skirt. In 2012, things got real for Brand who was charged with simple criminal damage and faced up to six months behind bars after snatching a photographer’s iPhone and throwing it through a nearby window in response to being followed. Rather than spend time in jail, Brand paid $500 in court fees and performed 20 hours of community service.
In 2004, Diaz and Timberlake were totally in love, and together totally despised the paparazzi. Things hit the fan one night when the couple blew up at a paparazzi and managed to take his camera and run off with the photog’s property. Diaz went as far as to file a police report against the photog, which later ended in a out-of-court settlement after photos of Diaz running with the papz’s camera surfaced online.
Much like his friend/collaborator Kanye West, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin has gotten into altercations with the paparazzi on more than one occasion. During a 2003 trip to Australia, Martin waited until a particularly annoying paparazzi who was following him took a break, and then smashed his car’s windshield and slashed his tires. Martin was arrested for the vandalism, but charges were soon dropped. In 2008 he and wife Gwenyth Paltrow were leaving a hospital in Los Angeles, the paparazzi began harassing the couple until Martin snatched one of their cameras. A verbal altercation ensued before Martin gave back the camera and sped off.
After snatching a few cameras and flashing pesky photogs his middle finger, Shia LaBeouf’s feud with the paparazzi went into overdrive while on break filming “Transformer 3” in DC. The actor was reading a book outside a coffee shop when a paparazzi began snapping photos of him, LaBeouf ran after the photog and doused the back of his shirt with hot coffee. Ouch.
Woody Harrelson was so turned off by TMZ photographers –who in all fairness didn’t do anything aside from snap his photo at the wrong time– that he went so far as to strangle Harvey Levin’s photographer and destroy his camera. When it came time to press charges, the LAPD allegedly took Harrelson’s side because in Hollywood celebs can ostensibly do no wrong.
In 2008, after feeling the paparazzi were getting too close for comfort, actress Sienna Miller hit a photographer with her designer handbag. Much like the rest of the Internet, the photog simply laughed off Miller’s attack – he actually continued snapping as she lunged her bag at his face.
Yes, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruises’s 7-year-old daughter has clapped back at the paparazzi with funny faces, but nothing compares to the tantrum she threw at the photogs earlier this month. While being swarmed by paparazzi outside NYC’s Trump Hotel, Suri Cruise began yelling at them to stop shooting and shouted “we’re trying to get to the car, get out the way!” Since then Suri has nabbed the title as sassiest Hollywood child.
After a photographer dared to ask Lamar Odom if he was cheating on his wife Khloe Kardashian, the Clippers forward lashed out on the photog by confiscating his rolling bag filled with equipment, and then proceeded to smashed the photog’s car with a metal bar. Odom drove off with the paparazzi’s bag and destroyed each piece of equipment by throwing them in a busy street. Odom is currently being investigated for battery and grand theft.
Adam Lambert was just trying to have a fun, cocktail filled day out with friends on Miami beach when a photog came and crashed Lambert’s party. After noticing the beach-crashers, Lambert ran over and tried to wrestle for camera from the photog and his friends eventually pulled him off the paparazzi and all was well. Another paparazzi on site wasted no time getting the photos of the brawl online soon after.
Airports are apparently a celebrity vs. paparazzi hot spot as proven by Bjork’s infamous freakout at a New Zealand airport. After paparazzi ignored her friend’s demand to stop snapping photos, Bjork flipped out on the rude photog and clawed his shirt until it was completely ripped in the back. We’re pretty sure the paparazzi didn’t mess with the Icelandic singer since that altercation.
Sean Penn holds the title for most infamous celebrity v.s paparazzi showdown ever, sorry Kanye. The actor faced attempted murder charges in the Chinese island of Macaco after hanging a paparazzi he found lurking in his hotel room from a nine-story balcony. Yeah, intense. Penn spent a brief moment in prison before he and his assistant managed to sneak out an open door and flee from the island. He later received a pardon for the attack, kicking off the long-waged war between celebrity and paparazzi.