(Los Angeles) A paparazzi announced on Thursday that they are suing American rapper Kanye West for assault, accusing him of throwing his cell phone on the ground during an altercation in January in California.
Nichol Lechmanik criticized the singer, now known as Ye and accumulating controversy, for having caused him “great mental and emotional suffering”, during a press conference held in Los Angeles.
The altercation allegedly occurred in January near a sports complex in Ventura, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where the son of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, his ex-wife, played.
When she had just taken a few shots of Kim Kardashian, the photographer would have seen the rapper outside arguing with someone, and had started filming him with his cell phone from his car.
The video, released during the press conference, shows the singer approaching the vehicle and calling out to it.
“If I want to see my son play, you can’t come at me like that…stop filming,” the singer says.
“I know, but Kanye, you’re a celebrity,” replies Ms. Lechmanik, who continues to film.
The rest of the video shows the singer snatching the phone from the hands of the paparazzi and throwing it on the ground before walking away.
“I was very scared,” Nichol Lechmanik said Thursday, saying the altercation had disrupted her “ability to work” and that she hasn’t been “the same” since.
The photographer is asking for damages from the singer, said her lawyer, Gloria Allred, without indicating the amounts.
Alterations between celebrities and paparazzi in California are not uncommon. The stars complain of being followed and harassed constantly and the paparazzi reply that these stolen photos are the only way to earn a living in a very competitive market.
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who have four children, have been a high-profile couple for a decade, thrilling the tabloids.
Since their acrimonious divorce in 2022, the rapper, who has openly spoken about his mental health problems, has multiplied the controversies.
Kanye West recently shocked with a series of anti-Semitic remarks. He was banned from most social media and in October lost his partnership with Adidas.