Monday, June 23, 2008

Surf Report: Malibu Surfers Assail Paparazzi to Protect Actor Matthew McConaughey

While paparazzo Josh Levine levies a $2.5 million lawsuit against Woody Harrelson for allegedly assaulting him and breaking his video camera two years ago, some other photogs might be heading to court over this past weekend’s beach battle with a group of surfers, who were either intent on protecting their hidden beach enclave from overcrowding, or view Matthew McConaughey as their leader who must be protected at all costs. The actor was at the center of what became a violent beach brawl after a mass of surfers came to his defense on Saturday and attacked a group of photographers following the actor.

The paparazzi were out in force over the weekend at Paradise Cove, on Malibu beach. Around a dozen were taking pictures as McConaughey surfed with his friends at the beach. Around 2 p.m. on Saturday though, things got pretty ugly. Surfers, who were reportedly drinking beer throughout the day, came up to the paparazzi in an aggressive manner and ordered them to leave the area. The surfers were made up of 15 young men. When the paparazzi refused, stating they were on public property and doing their jobs, the surfers reacted and began taunting them. The group of disgruntled surfers launched an all-out attack, allegedly leaving one paparazzo with a broken nose after being struck in the face. Another photographer was allegedly thrown into a mound of rocks by the group of angry surfers, leaving his camera equipment damaged. Police have confirmed a battery report has been filed by one photographer - though no arrests have been made, according to news reports.

And as paparazzi are wont to do, they were filming the entire time, which means video of the whole ordeal is available on (you guessed it) TMZ. The paps insisted they were just doing their jobs. Sites like TMZ, who showcase these videos, will insist they are just doing their jobs by reporting on the other paparazzi. And the elbow-throwing surfers will insist they were just doing their jobs, protecting McConaughey from a unscrupulous band of attack dogs who keep the actor’s celebrity alive and well. Matthew McConaughey did not participate in the ruckus. Matthew's representative has not made any comment on this incident.

They had requested on multiple occasions for the paps to stop taking pictures, which they would not stop doing. “There was apparently a fight, and a photographer gave a statement that he received injuries,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman said on Sunday. A surfer shouts at a photographer: “Get a real job.” The photographer says, “This is a real job. What do you do?” “I drink beer and party!” the surfer replied. The video shows a group of young men in swimsuits approaching and yelling at a group of paparazzi. One person of the group of apparent paparazzi appears to argue with the surfers. He says the beach is public property and they have the right to be there. The video shows two men chasing a paparazzi, dragging him into the water and kicking him. Click on this article’s title above to view the TMZ video.

Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.
Ernest Hemingway

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