When Justin Bieber attacked a photographer earlier this month, there was uproar. The video went viral in a matter of hours and people were shocked that the baby-faced “Baby” singer even had it in him. After being called a “f**king little c**k” by a paparazzo who was unimpressed at being nudged out of the way and having his personal space invaded (Mr Paparazzo, meet Mr Irony), Bieber leapt back out of the car to let the man know he would “beat the f**k” out of him. Perhaps not finding this the most terrifying of concepts the man continued his tirade of abuse and Bieber had to be restrained by a bodyguard. A slightly anticlimactic end to a heated exchange, but Biebs is just one in a long list of angry celebrities to bump heads with our snap happy pals the paparazzi.
First up, we have Bjork. At a petite 5 foot 4 this little Icelandic lady doesn’t exactly look like someone who can throw a punch, but don’t be fooled. Her infamous encounter with one female reporter in the 90s is still probably the most heated paparazzo/celebrity altercation. The lady in question got a lot more than she bargained after uttering the apparently offensive words “Welcome to Bangkok”. Upon hearing this Bjork grabbed the woman by the hair and flung her to the ground. Although Bjork did apologise and claimed the woman had been stalking her for days, it’s still hard to watch the video on YouTube and not contemplate the idea Bjork might have had some serious anger issues going on. She was, after all, a member of bands “Spit and Snot” and “Cork the Bitches Ass” in her younger days. Charming.
Next we have everyone’s favourite gobby Cockney, Lily Allen. Back in 2007 Allen decided the paparazzi and their photos were all too much for her, especially after leaving a nightclub in the early hours. Not one to throw a punch or attempt to brush them aside however, Allen decided nothing less than a flying front kick to the head would do. Undeterred after the altercation, Allen continued on her night and was soon wrestling with a female reporter and throwing more kicks and punches. Luckily her boyfriend at the time was there to save her from doing too much damage. Her defense? It’s not fair and I think they’re really…you get the point.
But none of these celebrities can top Sean Penn. Renowned for his violent relationship with the press, he has been in countless fights over the years. After he hit Madonna over the head with a baseball bat during their tumultuous marriage it should really have sent out alarm bells that he isn’t exactly the soundest of chaps. One paparazzo didn’t get this memo however and decided to hide in Penn’s hotel room while Penn was on a shoot in China. This decision was one that the man probably found himself deeply regretting when he was put in quite a compromising position; nine floors up, being dangled upside down off a balcony. Following the altercation, Penn was initially facing murder charges but they were eventually dropped. You’d think after that photographers would just leave him alone.
Caoimhe Ni Loinsigh