The life of a paparazzo is rarely a dull one, that’s for sure!
Veteran pap, Billy Barrera has spent most of his adulthood behind the lens, chasing the story, so you can imagine his discomfort at actually becoming the story himself!
Making matters worse, Billy, who worked as an investigative reporter infiltrating the violent world of street gangs, drugs and pimps, before becoming a pap, was unwittingly catapulted into the spotlight after suffering a beat down at the hands of a girl—albeit a famous one!
Last June Billy was the victim of an attack by the usually camera friendly Paris Hilton—and he tells OKMagazine.com how it all went down.
“I was at Bootsy Bellows covering Katy Perry‘s movie premiere,” Billy says. “I was walking back to my car afterwards and as I entered into the car park I saw Paris with Brandon Davis and some other friends and I could see she was [allegedly engaging in an illegal activity] so I switched my camera on and started filming her.
“I’ve papped Paris a bunch of times in the past and she’s always been really friendly and accommodating, but I guess that on this occasion she didn’t want to be caught on camera doing what she was doing, and when she saw me she went absolutely nuts!
“I called out to her, ‘hey Paris!’ and she immediately stormed over and started screaming obscenities at me—and then she smacked me in the face and tried to grab my camera—she twisted my wrist when she tried to get my camera off of me and at one point she was hanging off my neck like in a piggy back ride as I tried to get away from her.
“Then her friends joined in and started attacking me too, trying to get the camera off of me—I started yelling for help and pretty soon some other paps turned up and started filming what was going on and then the attackers just scattered.
“I never hit her or any of the others, I was just hanging on to my camera and waiting for the attack to end. Afterwards she tried to make out that I had scared her by ‘creeping up on her’ and that I was some kind of crazy stalker. I was hurt pretty badly and had to go to hospital for treatment on my wrist.
“I actually bumped into Paris about a month ago, and she just smiled sweetly at me and said, ‘how’s your wrist?’!!”
Another pap, who asked to remain anonymous, suffered a beat down at the hands of a celeb—although this one was decidedly more A-list and had a very different ending!
The pap was attacked by Orlando Bloom, who incorrectly thought the photographer was trying to take his photo, when in fact he was just crouched down zipping up his camera bag to put it away in the back of his car.
The pap says Orlando, who was out hiking with wife Miranda Kerr, flipped out the second he spotted him, charging over and hitting him on the back and around the head, screaming at him to get out of sight.
Tensions quickly died down though when the pap stood up, and Orlando realized he was considerably outmatched, as the photographer stood towering a good two feet over him!
The pap headed back to his car and started driving away and as he did so he looked in his rear view mirror and saw Orlando and Miranda chasing after him on their bikes—with Bloom wildly gesticulating for him to pull over.
Nervously, the pap obliged and when he got out of his car he found a decidedly more subdued Orlando!
“Tell him Orlando!” Miranda ordered her husband. “Tell him!”
“I’m sorry I hit you,” a chastised Bloom told the pap. “I won’t do it again.”
And, that’s when things started to get kind of strange!
According to the pap, Miranda told him Orlando would pose for a series of photos as way of an apology, and then she started directing an impromptu photo shoot—ordering Orlando into a variety of different ‘natural’ poses.
And, it didn’t end there!
Miranda insisted on going through the photos with the pap, critiquing them, deleting the bad ones and making Orlando re-do certain shots all over again!
Check back tomorrow for more crazy pap stories—near misses—when photographers unwittingly missed out on mega-million dollar paydays.
Do you think celebrities are justified in lashing out at paparazzi? Sound off in comments below and tweet us @OKMagazine