Paparazzo Sues Ye Over Altercation Caught On Video
A paparazzo is suing Ye over a January altercation that was caught on video.
Freelance photographer Nichol Lechmanik filed a lawsuit in California on Wednesday, alleging that the rap star’s “willful, wanton and malicious” conduct on Jan. 27 caused her “great mental and emotional pain and suffering” that has resulted in “lost earnings.”
Lechmanik is seeking damages for assault, battery, negligence and interference with the exercise of her civil rights.
Ye was “speaking aggressively” and was “enraged” when he approached Lechmanik in her car, according to the lawsuit. “He reached into Plaintiff’s car and ripped her phone out of her hands,” the complaint alleges. "As he did so, Plaintiff was fearful Defendant Ye had a weapon or would strike her. Defendant Ye then threw her phone onto the street towards oncoming traffic.”
In a video posted by TMZ in January, Ye is seen confronting Lechmanik, who is in the driver’s seat of a car recording him with her phone. “Stop with your cameras,” he tells the occupants of the vehicle before reaching in and snatching the phone from her hand.
Lechmanik claims she feared for her safety given Ye’s “reputation for violence against photographers, his history of physically harming them, and based on his threatening body language.”
Following the altercation, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office confirmed it was called to investigate an alleged battery. (The charge, which does not exist in Canada, is defined as "the use of force against another, resulting in harmful or offensive contact.”) According to prosecutors, Lechmanik declined to file charges against Ye.
Lechmanik’s lawsuit seeks damages, civil penalties and costs as well as a court order preventing Ye from “touching, striking, annoying, contacting, molesting, attacking, threatening, or otherwise interfering with” her.
At a press conference on Thursday, Lechmanik told reporters: “I want Ye to know that he cannot do what he did to me without facing consequences. I am determined to stand up for myself to let him know that he must change his abhorrent behaviour.”
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