Photographers’ injury lawsuits against pugilistic celebrities and their bodyguards are too commonplace to count as news these days, but a report about the case of photographer Sheng Li v. actor Sam Worthington caught our eye because of the actor’s defense. Call it the serves-you-right defense.
According to a Radaronline.com report, paparazzo Li is suing the star of Avatar and his girlfriend, Lara Bingle, for $10 million in damages. Li alleges they caused him a shoulder and wrist injury during a scuffle on a New York City sidewalk, presumably after Li tried to photograph the couple without their consent.
Worthington’s defense, according to Radar, is that getting attacked by celebrity subjects is an occupational hazard for the paparazzi. Li “knew the hazards,” he argues. Therefore, he’s responsible for his own injuries.
Worthington is partly right: getting attacked by celebrities is a well-reported risk of paparazzi work. But assault, even against annoying people, is still illegal. And unless that changes, getting sued for outrageous sums of money will probably remain an occupational hazard for celebrities, or at least hot-headed ones.
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Celebrity photo shoots are a challenge because photographers often get five minutes to shoot. For photographers who like to shoot conceptual portraits, the secret is preparation. Chris Buck is known for his quirky, humorous portraits that push the boundaries of editorial photography. He doesn’t shoot to satisfy or flatter his celebrity subjects; he’s shooting for... More ›
Photographer Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York City police department, following accusations of sexual assault by two former models, according to the New York Daily News. Through his attorneys, Richardson has denied the allegations. Caron Bernstein, a former Ford model, told the Daily News last month that Richardson sexually assaulted her at... More ›