Being a celebrity essentially means giving up a large portion of your privacy in exchange for following your dream of being an actor, singer, musician or all-around Hollywood figure. Most famous people are aware that their lives will change in some way or another as their careers progress. These days, however, it seems that the public wants to know every little thing about popular celebrities, which can be daunting to a celebrity who just wants to “do his/her job.”
There have also been instances in which celebrities have spoken out against the paparazzi. Some famous people have even sued the paparazzi for spreading untrue rumors, taking unwanted pictures, or for harassment. It’s no secret that the paparazzi can be pretty ruthless when they want to get a photo, since pictures of some celebs can be worth millions. However, there are some instances in which the paparazzi has also filed lawsuits against celebrities. Of course, there are extreme circumstances surrounding these cases. It’s also pretty obvious getting sued by paparazzi can be pretty embarrassing for a celebrity. These cases make it clear that even celebrities have their limits. Being followed around constantly is bound to take its toll at some point. Here are 12 celebrities who have, embarrassingly, been sued by paparazzi.
12. Brian Austin Green and Megan Fox
A paparazzo sued the (former) couple in 2012, after claiming that Green assaulted him two years before. The paparazzo stated that Brian threw his iPhone into the ocean after the couple made it clear that they didn’t want their picture taken during their 2010 Hawaiian vacation. The paparazzo also claimed that Megan Fox was verbally supporting her husband, which is why she was also included in the lawsuit. The incident did cause some embarrassment for Brian Austin Green, since there were reports of him dumping the phone in the ocean online and in news reports. In the end, the case worked out in his favor though, since the judge ordered that he and Fox be paid $620 toward their legal fees.
11. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was hit with a lawsuit from a photographer named Alison Silva in 2007, when he was filming the movie The Day The Earth Stood Still. Silva said that he was hit by Reeves’ Porsche, and that the incident left him with a permanently injured wrist. Silva was suing for around $700,000 in medical bills, damages and lost wages. A year later, when the case went to trial, it was determined that Silva was actually faking his injuries, and used his wrist to scale the wall in order to take some pictures of Britney Spears. The situation was embarrassing for Keanu as well, since he usually doesn’t get bad press. Luckily, it all got straightened out in the end.
10. Sean Penn
Sean Penn is known for losing his temper from time to time, and sometimes things can get pretty ugly. In 2009, the Academy Award winner decided that a paparazzo named Jordan Jawes needed to feel his wrath. Penn threatened to kill the paparazzo, but not before kicking him and breaking his camera. Less than a year later, Jawes filed a lawsuit, stating that the kicking and punching he sustained during the incident caused him to have to get knee surgery. Penn had to reach an undisclosed settlement with Jawes, and was also ordered to complete six months of probation and 300 hours of community service.
9. Rob Kardashian
The only guy of the Kardashian siblings is obviously no stranger to having cameras in his face constantly. Rob also seems like he’s more private than his mother and sisters, so it’s not surprising that he’d get annoyed with paparazzi sometimes. Rob allegedly took the memory card out of Andra Viak’s camera when the paparazza was taking pictures of him in the gym. Rob wasn’t wearing a shirt, so we’re guessing Viak thought the photos would be worth a lot of money. Viak claimed that Rob hurt her while trying to get the camera from her, and sued Kardashian for theft and damages in 2013. The case was eventually dropped when Rob agreed to pay for Viak’s memory card.
8. Britney Spears
In 2009, a paparazzo who used to work for TMZ, Ricardo Mendoza, sued Britney Spears for medical bills and damages. Mendoza claims that Spears ran over his foot in 2007. He wanted $220,000, even though at the time of the incident, Mendoza didn’t show signs that he intended to sue. He even put the sock he was wearing during the incident up for auction! The case was settled later in 2009, but the details of the settlement were not disclosed. Britney also released a single in 2007 called “Piece of Me” in which she referenced a paparazzo trying to “rip her off.” It’s pretty safe to say she was talking about Mendoza.
7. Pierce Brosnan
Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, was sued by a paparazzo named Robert Rosen in 2007, after Rosen claimed that Pierce attacked him in a parking lot. Rosen said he was struck in the chest by the actor, and sued for damage to his ribs, as well as physical and “emotional” damage. The photographer also pursued the case because he claimed that Pierce’s privacy was not being compromised at the time of the incident. The following year, Brosnan reached a settlement with Rosen out of court, but the amount was not disclosed. The case was dropped, which can only mean that the amount of money offered was more than acceptable.
6. Mike Tyson
Most paparazzi try to sue for about $25,000, but certainly not more than around $900,000 when attempting to sue a celebrity. Not Antonio Echavarria, though. This paparazzo tried to get all he could when he filed a case against Mike Tyson. The charges included false imprisonment, false arrest, emotional distress and negligence. Echavarria stated that he sustained injuries to his neck, brain, face and spine, as well as other areas of his body, after Tyson punched him at the LAX Airport in 2009, and was asking for $25 million in damages. Tyson countered these claims. He says he was defending himself and his family, and that the paparazzo bumped into his daughter’s stroller. This sounds like a paparazzo’s plan to rouse a celebrity who is known for fighting, and then sue for damages as a way to get a pretty sweet payday. The case was later rejected, even though Tyson and Echavarria were both arrested after the fight. It was ruled that there was insufficient evidence.
5. Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
When Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake were together, they certainly didn’t come across as a violent couple. However, their run-in with the paparazzi made it clear that perhaps they brought out the “passion” in each other. In 2003, the pair were spotted by paparazzi outside a hotel in Los Angeles. Obviously, they weren’t in the mood for pictures that day, so Diaz took the paparazzo’s camera, got into the car, and Timerlake drove the car away from the hotel. The paparazzo called the cops, and police were lined up, waiting for the celebrities to pass through. Diaz reportedly gave the camera to the police in order to find out the paparazzo’s identity. Diaz and Timberlake were sued, but the case was settled two years later.
4. Lindsay Lohan
Back in 2010, a paparazzo by the name of Grigor Balyan claimed that Lohan ran over his foot in her car while she was trying to make a getaway. Lindsay was also fined $1,000 because of the incident, since she didn’t attend the depositions. Sure, Lohan isn’t the best driver (she’s proven that several times). However, it’s not far-fetched to think that Balyan was probably standing really close to the car so he could get a good shot of Lindsay’s face. So, maybe she ran his foot over because she was annoyed, or maybe she couldn’t help it due to Balyan’s position. It was probably a little of both.
3. Lamar Odom
Paparazzo Stefan Saad apparently thought it was a good idea to get in former NBA player Lamar Odom’s face, to ask him if he was cheating on his wife, Khloe Kardashian. Why no one warned Saad that wasn’t a smart move, we’re not sure. Odom reportedly struck Saad’s car with a metal rod, took Stefan’s camera, and threw it on the ground before getting into his car and leaving. Saad sought $565,000 in overall damages because of the incident. Lamar Odom, unfortunately, got into even more trouble after his rumble with the paparazzo. Reports have confirmed that Odom was indeed cheating on Khloe, and he’s currently recovering after having a frightening drug overdose incident in Las Vegas.
2. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is known for having public temper tantrums about issues that could clearly be solved in a more mature fashion. In 2013, we’re guessing his bodyguards were trying to keep him from having a meltdown when they attacked paparazzo Jeffrey Binion, and then held a gun to his head while demanding his camera’s memory card. The previous years, Bieber himself kicked paparazzo Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran in the ribs and punched him. Apparently, Bieber didn’t want Duran taking pictures of him and then-girlfriend Selena Gomez. Like we said, there was a better way to handle all of that, and hopefully Bieber has learned his lesson.
1. Kanye West
It’s no surprise that Mr. West has had legal run-ins with paparazzi. In the summer of 2013, Kanye assaulted paparazzo Daniel Ramos at the LAX Airport. He even tried to wrestle Ramos’ camera away from him. Kanye was charged with attempted robbery and felony assault, but the charges were later reduced to misdemeanors. Ramos wasn’t satisfied with that and continued his lawsuit against West, claiming that that scuffle with Kanye left him unable to walk without a cane. Kanye claims he was only acting in self-defense. Either way, paparazzi have been noticeably more cautious when snapping pictures of Kanye, since there’s no telling what West will do when he’s having a bad day and doesn’t feel like having his picture taken.