August 12, 2009
Gerard Butler bodyguard under investigation for paparazzi flack
Once again, a paparazzo is at the bottom of an ongoing police investigation, this time to question the bodyguard of actor Gerard Butler. Butler is co-starring with Katherine Heigl in "The Ugly Truth," a major motion picture now in wide release.
Currently, Butler is on location filming "The Bounty" and sparking rumors of a possible romance with Jennifer Aniston. Paparazzi who got wind of the shoot have saturated the locale trying to catch the pair in a tell-tale embrace. No amount of denials can keep the curious in line. Allegedly, this potentially inflammatory situation pushed Butler's bodyguard Chris Tsipouras over the line. Unsubstantiated reports say Tsipouras became enraged over the paparazzi's behavior and purposefully damaged the exterior of cameraman James Devaney's car.
This isn't the first time paparazzi have inspired retaliation in an effort to make them disappear. Last year, rapper Kanye West and his manager were arrested after an airport scuffle with a paparazzo devolved into a smashing experience.
I don't think anyone blames Tsipouras for taking matters into his own hands. But when balanced against the rights of a free press under the First Amendment, paparazzi do have a right to work freely i.e. snap photographs, without threat of loss or intentional bodily harm. Property damage, although completely understandable, is not the answer, nor should it be tolerated in a law-abiding society.