There is one major downside to being rich, talented, beautiful and famous – the paparazzi. They are known as “scum”, “parasites” and “leeches” by celebs as they can make life literally unlivable. The paps, as they are more commonly known, hunt down celebs twenty-four hours a day in a bid to secure that one picture which could make them thousands.
A snapshot of Beyónce and Jay-Z‘s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, when she was newborn (provided her face is in full-view) would have fetched upwards of $500,000. It’s sad but true that even celebrity children have a pricey bounty on their head.
The most expensive photos are when there is a scandal taking place. To give celebrities the opportunity to flip-out, the paps make chase and aggravate them with personal questions so they bite the bait. It really is a dog eat dog world and often they will stop at nothing until they get their shot. As a result of this, many celebrities have had enough and began lashing out at the photographers. This is where it all starts to get quite dangerous.
Until stricter laws and regulations are put in place it looks as if the battle of celebrities vs paparazzi will just have to continue to play out for the whole world to see.
10. Hugh Grant
It really does go without saying that Hugh Grant loathes the paparazzi. The 54-year-old actor is rarely in a good mood when papped on the streets but he is usually able to keep his cool. That was until 2007, when he whispered death threats in the ear of a MrPapparazzi.com photographer.
Unaware the cameraman was filming instead of taking pictures, he grabs hold of him and whispers terrible things in his ear. Undeterred by the violent threats, the cameraman continues to shoot. Later when Grant exits a shop he can be seen hitting out which causes the cameraman to collapse to his side in pain. It’s a far cry from his Love Actually image as a friendly, lovable Prime Minister.
9. Chris Martin
Chris Martin and then wife Gwyneth Paltrow celebrated the birth of their daughter, Apple, in 2004 by assaulting the paparazzi outside the hospital doors. A clearly exhausted Paltrow exits the hospital and is then shortly followed by the Coldplay frontman who is not impressed by the herd of photographers waiting outside.
He loses it, grabs the closest photographer by the neck and begins shouting at him to, “get some f**king respect”. After wrestling him to the ground, he snatches the camera away and appears to get into the car with it. Another infuriated photographer helps his buddy out and they threaten to smash the car door if the camera is not returned.
The Martins then drove home to play happy families with their newborn daughter.
8. Sam Worthington and Lara Bingle
In 2014, actor Sam Worthington was arrested for assaulting a photographer who had allegedly kicked his wife, Australian model Lara Bingle. The altercation began when Bingle was stalked through the streets of New York City by cameraman Shen Li. She took matters into her own hands and began to physically fight off Li.
She is then joined by Worthington and the pair begin to wrestle with the paps for their cameras. After the arrests were made, Li was charged with reckless endangerment, assault and harassment. Li called for Bingle’s arrest as he claimed the video clearly indicates that she started the fight.
When the footage was made public, the private pair finally confessed that they were married. Their relationship could no longer be denied when Worthington states in the video several times, “Did you kick my wife?”
7. Justin Bieber
When Justin Bieber flips out, it makes world news so this is one guy who should learn to just keep his cool. In 2013, when a car was waiting for him in London, he made a mad dash for the door and pushed the paparazzi out the way. The paps were not happy to be shoved around and they retaliate with plenty of verbal abuse.
The “Never Say Never” singer wasn’t pleased with the name-calling, so he decided to jump out of the car and settle the score himself. He was then held back by his own bodyguards as he started to aimlessly swing punches around and the photographers got their money shot. Oh Bieber, when will you learn?
6. Mike Tyson
You don’t need to be a genius to work out that winding up Mike Tyson might get you hurt. In 2009, the former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world was followed through Los Angeles International Airport by a photographer. He finally had enough and turned against the cameraman chasing after him.
In the video, Tyson can be seen above the photographer in a blurred view through the lens. Tyson was arrested for battery but was defended by his lawyer who claimed that the cameraman had been overly aggressive earlier when Tyson was with his wife and 10-month-old child. The lesson from all of this is don’t pick fights with boxers.
5. Kanye West
Kanye West could really do with signing up to some serious anger management. There are probably just as many videos on YouTube of his fights with the paparazzi as there are music videos. He is so well-known for getting aggressive with anyone who tries to take his picture that they have even started making compilations of the altercations.
His wife, Kim Kardashian, is a woman who makes a living from being photographed. Although married life and fatherhood has cooled him down a bit, the moments when he has smashed cameras at airports, swore abuse at the paps and physically assaulted them will not be long forgotten.
4. Lamar Odom
It’s no big secret that Lamar Odom has some serious personal issues. He went crazy with the paparazzi who badly timed getting too close to the 6ft 10″ basketball star during his ongoing divorce proceedings with Khloe Kardashian.
In 2013, Odom lost it when he was chased by paparazzi through the Hollywood Hills. He pulls his own vehicle over and rips open the doors of each car that was chasing after him so he can throw their equipment out onto the road. Then randomly a fan jumps out of her vehicle and stops to take a photo with him. There’s always an opportunity for a road rage selfie.
There are few videos that are as uncomfortable to watch as the Jamiroquai, a.k.a Jay Kay, paparazzi fight video. In the late 90s, singer Jay Kay attended a movie premiere with his flashy car and entourage of dozens. He begins to verbally abuse the paparazzi and as he drives away, grabs at a photographer. This did not sit well with the rest of the paps who chased the car down; one even kicks his car during all the frenzy.
He then picks on one photographer who is smaller than him and interrogates him in the street. The photographer stands calmly after several minutes of verbal abuse which is spat in his face from the Deeper Underground singer. Finally the pap loses it: feeling threatened, he headbutts Jay Kay right on the nose which knocks him straight back. The video is shocking but at least this past-time pop star will remember to pick on someone his own size in the future.
There is one reporter who will think twice before saying “Welcome To Bangkok” to Björk again. In 1996, after a long flight, the singer arrived at the airport to be greeted by cameras and the press. When the reporter Julia Kaufman gave the greeting, Björk attacked her by pulling at her hair and punching the woman to the ground.
Her record company quickly defended her actions claiming Kaufman had been pestering the Icelandic singer for days. Later in an interview with presenter Chris Evans she told him that she only gets angry “every seven years”. Well – when she blows, she blows.
1. Britney Spears
In 2007, when Britney Spears was going through a mental breakdown, she was still not allowed any privacy by the press. After just checking herself out of a rehabilitation clinic, she pulled into a gas station on her way home. The paps surrounded her car all eager to get a picture of the pop star with her shaven head. Clearly distressed inside the vehicle, Spears can be seen covering her face and looking upset.
Chased down the street, she eventually flips and begins to attack the cars belonging to the cameramen with an umbrella. Screaming profanities at the paps, she made pop culture history after they finally got their shot of her losing it. Since the incident, she has become stronger than ever, reviving her music career and taking on a residency at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.