Kanye West sued by paparazzo for damages

After a scuffle at LAX airport during which the rapper charged at Daniel Ramos, the photographer is taking legal action

Kanye West is being sued by a paparazzo who claims a scuffle with the rapper left him hobbling on crutches. In connection with last month's altercation at LAX airport, Daniel Ramos is seeking damages for assault, battery and interference with his civil right to free speech.

"I think that Kanye needs to do the right thing, it's just as simple as that," Ramos's lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in a press conference on 21 August. "Even at this moment, [Daniel] is still in pain."

It's still unclear what exactly motivated West's alleged assault: video from the incident shows that although the rapper was being hassled by numerous photographers, Ramos in particular had aroused his fury. "What you're trying to do is get me in trouble," West seethed – before charging at the self-styled "film-maker", wrestling for his camera and almost knocking him to the ground.

By the time police arrived, West had already departed the scene. Although Ramos allegedly showed no signs of injury, he was treated for "contusions and muscle strain" at Marina del Rey hospital. Last week, the Los Angeles county district attorney's office decided not to file felony assault or attempted-robbery allegations against the star. He could still face a misdemeanour charge.

"Mr Ramos has the right to photograph anyone who is in a public place," Allred said on 21 August. "The sidewalk is a public place. Anyone there can be photographed, and if a person does not [want] to be photographed then they can certainly enjoy their right to privacy in their own home."

It "would be a start" if West apologised, she said. But for now she and her client are just moving ahead with the civil case. "Kanye came out of the terminal and attacked the videographer by allegedly grabbing his shoulders and [punching] him," those documents state. Representatives for West have insisted that the rapper was simply trying to stop Ramos from taking his picture.

Earlier on 21 August, West appeared as a guest on a chatshow hosted by Kris Jenner – the mother of his partner, Kim Kardashian. In an episode that will be broadcast later today, West reportedly unveiled the first official photograph of his and Kardashian's two-month-old daughter, North West.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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