Kanye West Faces Charges For Paparazzi Assault
Los Angeles city prosecutors have charged the rapper with misdemeanor battery, grand theft and vandalism over the videotaped destruction of a paparazzo's camera.
West was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport days after performing at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. The celebrity gossip site TMZ shot video that showed West breaking the flash of a photographer's camera inside a terminal, and his manager breaking the camera itself and accosting TMZ's videographer.
West faces 2 1/2 years in jail if convicted.
West's lawyer, Blair Berk, declined to comment on the charges being filed.
West's road manager, Dan Crawley, also faces six misdemeanor charges: two counts apiece of battery, vandalism and grand theft. He faces up to five years in jail if convicted.
The charges were filed by the office of outgoing City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, whose office last year also pursued a misdemeanor against Britney Spears over her driver's license. A jury deadlocked in favor of acquitting Spears and the case was dropped.
Delgadillo's office received the case after county prosecutors declined to charge West and Crawley.
West is just one of a number of celebrities who have had run-ins with aggressive paparazzi. Photographers are suing soccer star David Beckham and actor Woody Harrelson over separate scuffles. And two men face felony charges after a fight between photographers and surfers in Malibu; in that incident, the paparazzi were trying to snap images of actor Matthew McConaughey.
West has been known for his brash attitude, but the Sept. 11 incident at LAX was the first instance his temper seemed to turn physical.
He appeared last week on "American Idol," performing his song "Heartless" from his most recent album, "808s & Heartbreak," which also features the song "Love Lockdown."
The winner of multiple Grammys since he rocketed to stardom with his album "The College Dropout," West has become well-known for his temper tantrums, skewering MTV and former President George W. Bush while the cameras rolled.
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