March 28, 2008


Several photographers have been injured after the arrival of socialite PARIS HILTON in Turkey sparked riots amongst the paparazzi at Istanbul airport.
The hotel heiress landed in the city on Thursday (27Mar08) ahead of her stint as a judge in the Miss Turkey 2008 contest.
And the 27-year-old's presence led to hysteria amongst the photographers all clambering to take her picture, with a major fight breaking out amongst rival snappers.
Footage of the incident, shown on, shows a barrage of punches being thrown, with one man seen using his video camera as a weapon. One photographer is seen walking away with blood streaming from his nose.

March 24, 2008

Paparazzi Gang Beat Up People for Britney Spears Pictures

Famed photog agency X17 is apparently really a gang of thugs. They captured a rival photographer and beat the crap out of him for being on their “turf” aka Britney Spears’ house.

Alison Silva (who is actually a dude despite his seriously misleading name) is suing paparazzi X17 after he was beaten unconscious by 3 of their gang members, I mean, photographers outside Britney’s home.

Silva says he parked a block away from Britney’s house on March 5th when 3 hoodlums working for X17 beat and kicked him while he lay defenseless on the ground. He went to the hospital for a broken nose and head trauma.

The 3 X17 photographers —identified as Thomas Madiana, Carlos Madiana and Max Rinadelle — allegedly said, “You should not be here. Only X17 gets these shots.”

Silva claims he passed out and woke up to being kicked in the face. “I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

Witnesses called 911, and Silva was taken to the emergency room with police escorts.

One witness told police he heard an attackers say, “Let’s go f— him up, there are 10 of us here,” while getting a metal tube from his car. Another attacker said, “Don’t kill him! Don’t kill him!”

Silva asks for unspecified punitive damages in his suit. He accuses X17 of battery; assault; false imprisonment; emotional distress; and negligent training, supervision and retention of unfit employees.

Kelly Osbourne: 'Paparazzi Are Dangerous'

Reality TV star Kelly Osbourne has launched a scathing attack on the paparazzi - branding their frenzied behavior around certain celebrities as "dangerous".

The 23-year-old claims she was on a night out after the NME Awards in London earlier this year when awaiting press launched into a tirade of abuse towards her and model pal Kate Moss. And Osbourne even alleges one photographer got physical, hitting her with a camera when the media onslaught became too boisterous.

She says, "I know when you become famous, you sell your soul to the devil. But it's dangerous. I have this bruise - that's from a cameraman. He slammed his camera on my wrist. There were so many, and they were pushing. I had a great time after the NME Awards; it started to go bad when the paps (paparazzi) began making horrible comments as we were leaving, to get a reaction."

March 21, 2008

The Associated Press Admits It’s a Glorified Paparazzi Agency

With now completely offline, who’s going to step up battle TMZ? The AP!

The Associated Press has long been looking to be part of The Britney Spears Economy in a more in-depth way. And now they will: Twenty-one new hires will take over New York, Los Angeles, and London to broaden the wire’s entertainment coverage. But it’s not like they’re en route to becoming a frilly paparazzi and news service, you see — they’re “not about gossip, unnamed sources and innuendo or about ‘peephole’ journalism with AP photographers becoming paparazzi.”

What, they’re going to use our favorite excuse of covering the paparazzi as an excuse to tail Posh and Becks?

If it sounds like the new, most costly AP is simply moving to where the dollars are, you’re right. Its failed costly youth-oriented premium service “asap” (yes, in lowercase) bombed and was quickly dissolved. So why will this move be different?

Because they’re not going after a niche market. Everybody loves celebrities like everybody loves Raymond.

So will publicists have yet another battlefield on their hand? Not according to AP entertainment director Daniel Becker, whose staff memo says, “In a realm in which gossip and innuendo abound, particularly on the Web, our standards establish us as the trusted, authoritative voice on entertainment for all our members and customers.”

Basically, they’re going to issue a lot of rep-provided denials. And don’t we already have a place for that?

March 20, 2008

Seal tells paparazzi they're 'scum'

British singer Seal launched a stinging attack on a group of paparazzi calling them "scum" and "cockroaches".

The Kiss From A Rose star was surrounded by a scrum of photographers as he and his wife supermodel Heidi Klum left a restaurant in Los Angeles.

It all kicked off when one of the paps told Seal he liked his music and tried to shake his hand

The singer refused the gesture and said: "Why would I shake hands with scum?" adding, "I don't like what you do. You are scum."

Klum remained quiet and hid behind her husband as he accused the photographers of ruining people's lives, including his own.

But when one of the photographers declared that Heidi seemed at peace with the constant attention, Seal snapped back: "Don't bring her into it. Why don't you go ask your mother how I feel."

March 14, 2008

Nicole Kidman's Bodyguard Attacks Flynet Photographer

We have an exclusive video of actress Nicole Kidman's longtime bodyguard, David Micheal Garris, attacking one of our photogs in Santa Monica on Thursday!

The physical assault stemmed from an incident on Wednesday, when a fellow photographer was attacked by Nicole's rambo-like trainer while the 53 year old photog was snapping Nicole and her trainer hiking. The trainer stole the guy's camera which thankfully, was later returned.

Then on Thursday, our Flynet photog Jeremy and his 53 year old paparazzi friend were once again following Nicole Kidman and her bodyguard, David Garris, as they were making their way to the gym. The vehicle they were in stopped and the bodyguard stepped out, obviously in an agressive manner. Jeremy pulled out his video camera, hoping to question the bodyguard about the incident on Wednesday but as you can see from the clip, Garris was in no mood to chat. Jeremy stepped back inside of his vehicle but that didn't stop Garris from attacking him anyway!

Afterwards, Nicole Kidman left along with her crazed bodyguard and Jeremy tried to follow them but eventually had to dial 911 because of his injuries. The police are currently investigating the incident.

Now I know the paparazzi can be annoying, but do they deserve a physical assault of this magnitude? You may respond, 'hey well that's what the guy gets for following someone.' Well, sure that's one way to look at it. But this photog is just doing his job, giving the people something to talk about while they wait in in line at the grocery store, flipping through all of the celebrity mags that sell millions of copies worldwide. So if you disagree with it, fine. But I don't think a physical assault was justified here. Watch and judge for yourself.

Here's a little info on our attacker, David Micheal Garris.

David is unmarried but has worked with Nicole Kidman for years and used to be Tom Cruise's driver. After their split, David was one of the few people who stayed with Nicole and not Tom. Garris and Kidman have had a strange, employer/employee relationship for quite some time now. The two have been spotted going to the movies together, having cozy lunch dates, and they were spotted attending (non Keith Urban) concerts together while Kidman was filming 'The Invasion.'

So maybe their relationship goes beyond employer/employee and that's why Garris was so easily fired up about our photog following the actress... Time will tell...

Insane Look At 18 Celebrities From Paparazzi Kings

In its new issue with Britney Spears on the cover, the Atlantic featured not only a torturous analysis of celebrity worship but also a crazy and fascinating chit-chat with the founders of paparazzi firm X17, in which the paps riffed on a series of their own photographs.

The paparazzi article, which apparently just went online, is a great example of how the supposedly highbrow journal gets to have it both ways: a serious sociological discussion involving "the dark sewer of misanthropic, gynophobic, and Rabelaisian epithets running through the... celebrity blog" and also, in the same issue, trash talk about how actress Nicole Kidman without tons of makeup on "really does have a unpleasant, grandmother-ish look" and how singer Britney Spears "is being pumped full of drugs and that can affect her weight" and that actor Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes are "living inside the Scientology Center."

You really have to read it for yourself, but here are some choice bits:

On Spears:

Picture 12-7This is one of those shots where you just put it on the blog and let the commenters take care of it...You can see that she is literally busting out of her shirt, which might be a sign she is pregnant. You can see her double chins.

We are pretty sure she’s not pregnant. We think it’s a psychological visit. She is being pumped full of drugs and that can affect her weight. I’m sure Regis kept at least 50 of these shots. You can easily keep 50 shots because she is always doing something in frame.

...I’ve never seen her drugged as much as now . She reminds me of my grandmother in France who had Alzheimer’s. She can barely walk. She walked straight into a pole the other day.

On Spears' on-again off-again boyfriend, scheming paparazzo Adnan Ghalib:

Adnan Ghalib came by accident to the business. He met a girl in the post-office three years ago and did what he did with Britney. He flirted with her, and met the dad of the girl, and became friends with the dad, and helped him to fix the house. And the dad considered him as his son. And it happened that guy was part of the paparazzi. He told Adnan, ‘I see you, you are struggling, why don't you get a camera, and I will introduce you to some of my friends at the Fame agency.’ And the first one he was covering was Britney Spears. And he started to go after Britney right away. Trying to talk to her and so on and so on.

On diva Barbara Streisand:

Picture 7-6At her wedding she hired some big speakers on a trailer to blare heavy metal music in the direction of the paparazzi and the entertainment reporters in front of her house to screw up their stand-ups and their shots. This was while her wedding was going on in the backyard...

She doesn't care at all what she looks like when she goes out. She goes out on rainy days. She wears sweatpants. Her hair is a mess.

On Lindsay Lohan: "Lindsey Lohan didn’t do anything this week except dress extremely ugly. I guess that’s the story: Lindsey looks bad now that she is sober and chastened.”

On Tom Cruise, his wife Katie Holmes, and Cruise maybe having a thing with this woman in a picture:

Picture 4-11She’s being too physical with him. At the same time, Tom is talking on the phone, so he wasn’t really too focused on her. The first story the viewer gets is that he might be cheating on Katie Holmes, and then people think about it for a second, and think, also, maybe he isn’t gay...

Is his relationship with Katie as perfect as what they try to portray in the press? What is really going on? Right now, we know that they are living inside the Scientology Center. They sleep and eat there, and educate their child there. They have no more house. Which is strange, yes?

On the secret cameras they have trained on Victoria Beckham:

. We have hidden cameras, so we know that she is a real mother who takes care of her kids, and that she behaves exactly the same way inside her house! You see real mothers, and you see the ones who just fake it for the camera. Anna Nicole Smith, I photographed her a couple of times with that poor kid. That was a little bit sad. Demi Moore was quite a good mother at one time in her life, until that got a bit boring for her.


March 13, 2008

Did Ashton Kutcher steal new TV show concept from Anna Nicole?

Way back in 2004, Anna Nicole Smith and Howard K Stern came up with an idea for a show called “Celebrities Strike Back.” The treatment, which was submitted to E! and registered with the Writer’s Guild, had Anna Nicole and other celebs turning the tables on the paparazzi with staged events to see if the media would pick up the stories.

Sound a little familiar? Well it’s pretty darn close to Ashton Kutcher’s new show for E! called “Pop Fiction.” In it, celebs… turn the tables on the paparazzi and media to see if they’ll pick up the stories. Like when we all started writing about Paris Hilton wandering around L.A. with some crazed guru. Who was revealed to be an actor after a very short period of time – but we all thought the joke was on Paris, not us. Boy that sounds freakishly similar.

Ashton’s show sounds like a carbon of Anna’s treatment — “…what happens if Anna Nicole Smith and other celebrities turn the tables and capitalize off of the overzealous media? What if the next big supposed scandal is not a scandal at all? What if everything is staged, but the media (and the public) don’t know it?” It continues, Anna Nicole and other celebrity guests take aim at the media and push all the limits.”

That’s Ashton Kutcher’s show and we’re told Howard K. has already threatened suit. What is really pissing him off is that he and Anna had multiple meetings with E!. Two months ago, Stern spoke with E! again on behalf of the estate and the network seemed intrigued by making Larry Birkhead the celeb to do the first prank and then host the show. Ultimately Jay James said it just wouldn’t work. Oh really?

March 11, 2008

Job Descriptions: The Paparazzi Photographer

Henri Paul drunkenly goaded the paparazzi

Serge Benhamou - who was following the princess' car taking pictures when it collided into pillar 13 of Paris' d'Alma tunnel on August 31st 1997 - said driver Paul had been behaving very oddly when he was behind the wheel of Diana's car.

Henri Paul drunkenly goaded the paparazzi the night Britain's Princess Diana died, her inquest heard yesterday (10.03.08).

Serge Benhamou - who was following the princess' car taking pictures when it collided into pillar 13 of Paris' d'Alma tunnel on August 31st 1997 - said driver Paul had been behaving very oddly when he was behind the wheel of Diana's car.

He claimed Paul - who also died in the crash along with Diana's lover Dodi Fayed - was cheerful, thumbing his nose at photographers and smiling.

He told the jury at London's High Court in a written statement: "He saw us and laughed. I would add that that man had never behaved like that before. Usually he ignored us.
"All his reactions led me to believe that he had been drinking."

Benhamou - one of the photographers questioned by police after the crash - also admitted he took pictures of the princess dying in the car wreckage.

He said: "I took my shots of the car and the occupants when I was approximately three metres from the scene.

"People told us to move as they did not like us taking photographs. They found it horrible for people to take photographs when other people had been involved in an accident."

He claimed to have been acting on instinct but suffered sleepless nights over his actions.

The original inquest by Lord Stevens had ruled the crash was caused because Paul was over the drink-driving limit and was a tragic accident.

However, Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed has always insisted the couple were killed by the British establishment as they were about to announce their engagement and Diana was pregnant.

March 10, 2008

Miley Cyrus And Dad Talk About Paparazzi

Miley Cyrus and her father Billy Ray continued their conversation with 'Access Hollywood' special correspondent Maureen McCormick of 'The Brady Bunch'.

The 'Hannah Montana' stars talked about how Miley is starting to get a lot of attention from paparazzi, and Billy Ray's efforts to approach the snappers and find out who they are.

"I just want to try to know who's stalking my family," he said.

Billy Ray also showed off the tiny heart on his hand, which Miley wrote on his hand at church before telling him to go to a tattoo parlor to get it put on permanently. Watch the segment below the fold.

March 7, 2008

Ashton Kutcher's New Show To Punk Paparazzi

Ashton Kutcher is proving he is the king of pranks. The former "Punk'd" host is gearing up his episodes for his upcoming new show aimed to dupe the paparazzi.

Entitled "Pop Fiction," the new eight-episode E! series will target the paparazzi and other media outlets as it will feature real celebrities in bogus situations.

A good example is Paris Hilton's new guru. The socialite was recently seen with a robed, bearded guru and was photographed buying a self-help book at the Bodhi Tree Bookstore. This had led the media to speculate Hilton has been drawn to the religion.

However, it was all a part of Kutcher's stunts. The "guru" is actually an actor named Maxie Santillan, revealed.

Jason Goldberg, Kutcher's producing partner, explains to USA Today: "We live in a culture that's driven by media and obsessed with celebrity. Two people going out to eat turns into, 'They're engaged.' It's a feeding frenzy."

Goldberg adds that about 20 celebrities have signed on with the project hoping to turn the tables against the paparazzi.

He says of the new project: "We're having fun. But we want to say to people, 'Can you really believe everything you read and see?'"

E! Entertainment will debut the new reality series Pop Fiction on March 9 at 10:30 p.m.

Adrian Grenier tries to be a paparazzo, fails

Clueless Adrian Grenier’s attempts to be a paparazzo hit a major setback when he couldn’t work out how to use his camera.

The ‘Entourage’ actor, who is making a documentary, needed a helping hand from the experts when he joined the pap pack shooting Brooke Shields.

He told the shutterbugs: “I’m one of you now.”

But as he struggled with his camera one unimpressed snapper told him: “You got to learn how to use it!”

Adrian threw himself into the scrum to snap Brooke outside a Beverly Hills restaurant but later moaned: “I just got my toes stepped on.”

When he finally got to grips with his camera he told the paps: “Now we’re all here there are no celebrities!”

If Passed, 'Britney Law' May End Papparazzi Stalking Tactics

Another panty-less pic of Brit or Paris, Lindsay Lohan’s breakdown stories from inside rehab, Brangelina’s love scandal and Heath Ledger’s funeral services. These days, it doesn’t seem possible for celebrities to stay out of the limelight.

Paparazzi have an almost unlimited access to celebrities’ personal lives. The stalkarazzi stop at nothing to get the “money shot” by driving on the wrong side of the street, camping outside of their homes, swarming cars, and trespassing — all to catch celebrities in their weakest moments. We often justify this invasion of privacy because we tell ourselves they put themselves in the limelight and this is the price of fame. Imagine if these situations were applied to a non-celebrity. Imagine having a relentless photographer (and stranger) follow your every move, not to mention that he (or she) has probably been standing outside of your house for hours. Oh wait ... this would be what most of us consider stalking and harassment.

It seems that Ms. Spears, with her pic in the paper everyday, finally reached a level of celeBrity to require special legal protection, which would ultimately do a huge favor to countless other celebrities.

The paparazzi antics while covering the latest Spears saga last month served as a means for the recently proposed “Britney Law” — which later will be renamed. Los Angeles City Councilman, Dennis Zine, proposed the new law to ensure a personal safety zone around individuals targeted by the media. He proposed this law as a result of Spears’ recent hospitalization fiasco in which police literally had to escort the pop singer’s ambulance by a barrier of police cars and helicopters in order to shield her from the stalkarazzi. Why should you care? Aside from a serious invasion of personal space and privacy, this military-like, covert operation ended up costing taxpayers about $25,000.

Zine’s proposed motion notes that the paparazzi “are becoming increasingly aggressive in their tactic, posing a clear danger not only to the people they are trying to photograph, but to the general public around them.”

Two years ago, a Cali “anti-paparazzi” law went into effect that increased penalties against photogs who impede celebrities or are responsible for car accidents. They are liable for three times the damages they inflict, plus lose any payments their published photos might earn. However, it seems that this law isn’t strict enough.

If legislators pass the proposed “Britney Law,” it will be the most stringent anti-paparazzi legislation of its kind to date. If a paparazzo crosses the 20-yard “personal safety bubble” without permission, the city will confiscate all profits from any resulting photograph.

However, this proposal raises several questionable issues, particularly the First Amendment right of the press to facilitate communication of information to the public, which some feel could lead to a slippery slope of abuses involving legitimate access to newsmakers. Others simply believe it will not affect the industry.

As L.A. police chief William Bratton said, “What we need is Britney Spears to stay home instead of traipsing all over town. That would solve the problem.” Makes sense to me.

But Councilman Zine counters, “We are not prohibiting anyone from taking a picture but the matter in which they are getting those pictures.”

I am a huge First Amendment proponent, but this proposed law seems like a step in the right direction — assuming Ms. Spears and other won’t just stay home. The paparazzi aren’t going to voluntarily show some restraint themselves anytime soon. And it disturbs me to think about the amount of recent incidents involving paparazzi, either directly or indirectly. Just last year, Halle Berry got into a wreck after these snaparazzi stalked her two days after she announced her pregnancy. And every so often we hear the repeating headline that celebs like Brit and Lindsay have run over photogs’ feet after the media hounds swarmed their cars. This conduct keeps escalating and becoming increasingly more dangerous due to the expensive price tag that comes with the candid photos. As a mother of two, I could not imagine the fear that these celebrities feel when they take their kids for a drive to the local toy store or even a stroll down the street. Although many people feel that this is the price that celebrities must pay for fame, it’s people’s safety that we are compromising.

"If we think back a few years, Princess Diana was driving down the road, paparazzi chasing," Zine recalls. "A crash occurred, Princess Diana died. I don't want to see that happen here in Los Angeles."

Bottom Line: As a media analyst myself and concerned with the slippery slope of this law diminishing our First Amendment rights, this proposal seems like a compromise somewhere in the middle. With such powerful camera lenses, technology allows photogs to snap the picture without causing celebrities to snap. People have the right to be secure and a right of privacy. It seems that these stalkarazzi are being allowed to illegally infringe on individuals personal rights, freedoms, and above all, the safety of celebrities and the public. With the millions at stake in this industry, it’s hard to predict whether this will end up helping the situation. It’s also difficult to know whether a court may one day overturn the law. But I think that it is safe to say that it’s worth a try.

Paris plays prank on paparazzi

Paris Hilton has finally got her own back on the paparazzi after it was revealed that bizarre pictures of her posing with a shaman were staged.

The party girl, 27, was snapped having dinner with the spiritual guru in Los Angeles earlier this week but the event was just a set up for new TV show Pop Fiction.

Produced by actor Ashton Kutcher, the show targets paparazzi and media outlets by letting celebrities play pranks on them.

Paris had been spotted at a bookstore buying some self-help books with the guru in tow, who conveniently carried his own book while the paparazzi flashed away.

After dinner, Paris told reporters: "He's really changed my life because the greatest gift is to give."

She was even given a public spiritual blessing at the end of the night.

The "guru" was later revealed to be Maxie Santillan, an actor who has starred in TV show "My Name Is Earl" and "Pirates of the Caribbean".

Ashton's producing partner, Jason Goldberg, said: "We live in a culture that's driven by media and obsessed with celebrity, to the point where they don't have private lives anymore."

"Two people going out to eat turns into, 'They're engaged.' It's a feeding frenzy. It's dangerous and it's irresponsible in some cases."