Woody Harrelson Pushed to the Edge by Paparazzo?
Woody Harrelson is not fond of the paparazzi. We know this. So does TMZ, since Harrelson got physical with one of their aggressive stalkerazzi in 2006. So, when a TMZ photographer happened upon Woody Harrelson last night at New York's LaGuardia airport, he knew what to do: goad Harrelson into another attack.
You can watch the two short clips documenting the alleged attack here (Part 1 | Part 2), but to summarize: Harrelson walks through an airport alone carrying a few bags. We hear a photographer start to bark questions as Woody makes haste to get away. The photographer won't be put off -- he continues to approach Harrelson, getting close enough for Harrelson to reach out and grab the man's video camera and -- allegedly -- smash it on the ground.
That's only round one.
Round two commences when the photographer, not at all deterred by Harrelson, starts hounding him again -- with a spare camera, I guess -- repeating "Woody, that's assault, Woody, you assaulted me," ad nauseum, causing yet another supposed scuffle. The photog then tails Harrelson all the way to his car, where Harrelson again tries to wrest the camera out of his hands.
In all, there are three instances in which the photographer leads us to believe Harrelson assaults him. Oddly, the camera in all three situations is pointed at the photographer himself and only once do we catch a glimpse of Harrelson, reaching for the camera. So despite TMZ's touting of a Harrelson attack video ("Woody Harrelson went nuts yesterday, smashing our camera to the ground, punching our photog, even grabbing his neck -- and it's all caught on tape.") we don't actually see an attack. In fact, at one point an onlooker tells the photographer to leave Harrelson alone and he says "He just assaulted me, are you kidding me? White men can jump," and continues his dogged pursuit.
This, instead of removing himself from a situation he purportedly considered dangerous or attempting to alert the police.
I'm not excusing Harrelson's behavior. No matter the provocation, the better choice is always to walk away or to himself seek help from an obviously invasive pursuit. But, based on the footage available, Harrelson -- and I'm no huge Harrelson fan -- was pushed to the extreme.
I know this is like spitting in the wind, but I have to say it: Harvey Levin, please stop it. There's a line and you have crossed it. Cover the news, don't create it. Woody Harrelson's arrival at La Guardia isn't a scoop -- unless he steps off the plane smoking a joint. Stick to chronicling Lindsay Lohan's club crawling and celebrity mug shots. We like that.
TMZ's company policy prohibits the release of the photographer's name or contact information and TMZ managing editor Harvey Levin was unavailable for comment.
| April 10, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories: Celebrities, Comment Box
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