Obviously paparazzi photographers are a major aspect of modern celebrity culture, and there’s a lot of debate about whether it’s just part of the territory when someone’s famous or if it’s an invasion of privacy. Sometimes celebs’ annoyance with photogs can get pretty heated, and of course we usually end up hearing about it the next day, ironically with paparazzi photographs to prove it.
Since it’s Alec Baldwin’s 56th birthday, and he’s sort of the king of paparazzi altercations, there’s no better time to take a look at celebrities’ many angry and sometimes violent run-ins with photogs.
1. Alec Baldwin
Like I said, he’s kind of the king. Alec really hates paparazzi, and he’s not afraid to show it. He’s allegedly hurled gay slurs, was photographed pinning a guy on the hood of a car, and apparently punched a photographer before tweeting that all paparazzi should be waterboarded. Hey Alec, it’s been a while. Got any fights planned to celebrate your birthday?
2. Sean Penn
Here’s another classic. Sean’s had various violent run-ins with photographers since the 1980s, including when he hung a paparazzo from a nine-story balcony after finding him in his hotel room, and he then escaped jail. More recently he was charged with kicking a paparazzo in 2009, for which he was ordered to attend anger management. Oh, and he also allegedly lost his temper with a fan trying to take a photo of him last year.
3. Jon Gosselin
Last year the always charming Jon Gosselin accused a photographer of trespassing and pulled a gun out to fire a warning shot. I think we can all agree that’s a little insane and definitely goes too far.
4. Justin Bieber
Remember last spring when Bieber lunged at that paparazzo and threatened to beat him up? That’s just one of the many problems Bieber’s had with photographers in his short life. He also gave a deposition last month in a lawsuit from a paparazzo claiming Bieber’s bodyguard attacked him. And then there’s a separate case in which a photographer claims Bieber kicked him in the ribs. Great for his image.
5. Britney Spears
We all remember in 2007 when a bald Britney Spears attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella, right? That was during a rough time in Britney’s life when she exhibited quite a bit of strange behavior. There are still concerning things about her life and career since then, but thankfully the umbrella attacks have stopped.
6. Kanye West
Kanye West has always shown off his temper, but last summer he got violent when he actually attacked a photographer at LAX in an incident that was caught on camera. He recently received two years probation for it.
7. Hugh Grant
Hugh might win the award for most creative fight. In 2007 he was arrested in London for throwing a container of baked beans and kicking a videographer. The charges were dropped. Then in 2009 he allegedly kicked a cameraman for TMZ in the groin.
8. Kristen Bell
Kristen hasn’t gotten violent with the paps, but last month she and her husband Dax Shepard got into a pretty heated debate with the owner of a paparazzi agency and a reporter about the issue of publishing photos of celebrity kids.
9. Lily Allen
Lily’s had a rough time with paparazzi. In 2007 she reportedly grabbed a camera from a female photographer and tried to kick her, and later that year she was arrested for allegedly punching a photographer. After a photographer’s car collided with hers in 2009 Lily received an injunction projecting her from harassment by two paparazzi agencies.