A paparazzo who’s suing Kanye West was only joking when he told colleagues just before a scuffle with the singer at LAX that he wanted to “(expletive) him off,” attorneys for the photographer say in newly filed court papers.
Plaintiff Daniel Ramos and the other paparazzi were “poking fun” at West for comments made a week earlier at Los Angeles International Airport that were captured on video, in which the singer ordered another photographer not to talk to him, according to the plaintiff’s court papers.
“Mr. Ramos saw this … video and thought that Mr. West was being silly and that it was a joke,” according to the court papers filed Thursday by Ramos’ lawyers.
West’s attorneys want to amend his defenses, contained in his answer to Ramos’ complaint. They now claim Ramos was aware of the peril of trying to take the singer’s photo and question him on video and did so anyway.
They also claim that new information obtained from depositions of the plaintiff and a fellow photographer who was with him on July 19, 2013, demonstrate that Ramos “knowingly assumed a risk and was negligent when he deliberately sought to provoke West.”
But Ramos’ attorneys state in their court papers that the day before West allegedly attacked him, their client saw a television show featuring West’s mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, stating that the singer did not mean what he said during the incident with the first photographer and that he “must have had a bad day.”
Ramos “hoped to speak to (West) to give him an opportunity to squash what happened the previous week,” Ramos’ attorneys state in their court papers. “Mr. Ramos had no way of knowing that simply asking Mr. West to speak to him would cause Mr. West to physically attack him.”
Ramos alleges his right hip was injured when the 37-year-old rapper punched him and wrestled his camera to the ground. He sued West a month later in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Ramos admitted that a week before the confrontation, he saw a video in which the rapper appeared angry and told photographers not to talk to him, according to court papers filed by West’s attorneys.
The other paparazzo stated in his deposition that he was with Ramos and other photographers that day; that they all knew West was upset about a “family problem”; and that the singer did not like being questioned on video, West’s attorneys’ court papers state.
Nonetheless, Ramos said he wanted to “(expletive) Ramos off,” the other photographer is quoted as saying in West’s attorneys’ court papers. Ramos hoped he could capture on video a reaction from West that he could sell “for thousands of dollars,” the singer’s attorneys allege.
“Based on the foregoing … the jury may reasonably conclude that (Ramos) knowingly and intentionally assumed a risk and was negligent to deliberately provoke West in order to get a hostile reaction … despite having been warned not to do so,” according to West’s attorneys.
But Ramos’ lawyers argue that the second photographer’s comments were taken out of context by West’s attorneys and that he, Ramos and a third paparazzo were all making light of the situation and were “poking fun” at the rapper.
A hearing on the motion by West’s attorneys to amend his answer is scheduled for March 4.
— City News Service