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Gérard Depardieu Punches the ‘King of Paparazzi’ Outside Rome Cafe

Gérard Depardieu Punches the ‘King of Paparazzi’ Outside Rome Cafe


The French movie star Gérard Depardieu repeatedly punched Rino Barillari, generally known as the “king of paparazzi,” on Tuesday at Harry’s Bar on the Via Veneto, the grand resort and cafe-lined avenue that was a energetic hang-out for celebrity-hunting paparazzi a long time in the past, in line with the photographer and a journalist who witnessed the altercation.

It might have been a scene straight out of “La Dolce Vita,” Federico Fellini’s early Nineteen Sixties movie that launched the character of an annoying and eccentric photographer who hounded the film stars that swelled the casts of Cinecittà movie studios when Rome was generally known as “Hollywood on the Tiber.”

Seeing Mr. Depardieu, 75, and Mr. Barillari, 79, on the Via Veneto was like “a time machine,” mentioned Gianni Riotta, a columnist for the newspaper La Repubblica who mentioned he noticed the assault whereas he was having coffee at Harry’s Bar.

Mr. Riotta mentioned that Mr. Barillari had repeatedly been requested to cease taking images, and that when he turned to depart he was adopted into the road by a shouting lady who had been sitting with Mr. Depardieu. The actor reached the photographer “and hit him, hit him, hit him,” Mr. Riotta recalled, talking in Italian.

“There was numerous blood,” he mentioned.

Mr. Riotta mentioned he gave a witness assertion to the police after they arrived on the scene. It was unclear whether or not Mr. Barillari, who was taken by ambulance to a downtown hospital, would press expenses.

Lawyers for Mr. Depardieu didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Delphine Meillet, a lawyer for the girl who had been sitting with Mr. Depardieu, Magda Vavrusova, mentioned in an announcement that Mr. Barillari had “violently pushed” her, touching her chest along with his arm. She mentioned that when Mr. Depardieu intervened, he had “fallen and slid onto” the photographer. Ms. Vavrusova was taken to a hospital and deliberate to sue Mr. Barillari, the lawyer mentioned.

“After the whole lot that had occurred, the photographer continued in deluging them with images,” Ms. Meillet mentioned.

When Mr. Depardieu obtained right into a automobile after the altercation, Mr. Barillari “jumped in entrance of the automobile and stored on taking pictures,” Mr. Riotta mentioned. It swerved to overlook an unfazed Mr. Barillari, who photographed the automobile’s license plate. Then he dropped to the bottom.

The altercation generated a brand new set of headlines about Mr. Depardieu, who final month was ordered to face trial on felony expenses that he sexually assaulted two ladies throughout a 2021 movie shoot in France, the most recent in a rising variety of accusations of sexual violence.

After a documentary that aired in France in December confirmed the actor making crude and sexist feedback throughout a 2018 journey to North Korea, he was stripped of a number of worldwide honors and a likeness of him was faraway from the Musée Grévin, a Paris wax museum.

Mr. Depardieu has denied any wrongdoing.

Mr. Barillari can also be no stranger to controversy. When Italy’s modern artwork museum MAXXI devoted a 2018 exhibit to the photographer’s six-decade profession, it recorded 163 journeys to the emergency room, 11 damaged ribs, one stabbing and 76 smashed cameras, together with stitches after a dust-up with the actor Peter O’Toole.

The age of the cellphone had affected the work of the paparazzi, Mr. Barillari informed an Italian paper on the time, including that selfies destroy celebrities “as a result of they by no means inform the reality.”

Mr. Barillari couldn’t be reached for remark about Tuesday’s incident. But when he was interviewed on Rai 1, the Italian broadcaster’s predominant channel, he recalled a number of the actors he had rubbed the improper manner, together with Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.

“They had been able to beat me up,” he mentioned, sporting a white bandage above one cheek. But he was youthful, he mentioned.

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