“The king of paparazzi” accuses Gérard Depardieu of having hit him

“The king of paparazzi” accuses Gérard Depardieu of having hit him
“The king of paparazzi” accuses Gérard Depardieu of having hit him

Rino Barillari, nicknamed the “king of the paparazzi”, accuses Gérard Depardieu of having physically attacked him on Tuesday on Via Veneto in the heart of Rome, the French star claiming for his part to have “interposed himself between the paparazzo and his partner” .

The scene took place at Harry’s bar, one of the most popular establishments on Via Veneto, around 2 p.m. (12 p.m. GMT). “I saw him in Via Veneto with a woman. I approached to take some photos,” said the 79-year-old photographer, quoted by the Roman daily Il Messaggero.

According to his account, it was first of all the woman accompanying the actor, who turned out to be his partner Magda Vavrusova, who tried to block him, then it was Gérard Depardieu himself who intervened and told him punched him three times in the face.

In the evening, the actor and his partner gave their version of the facts through a press release from their lawyer at the Paris bar, Delphine Meillet: “Rino Barillari, as well known for his photos as for his aggressive methods, violently pushed the companion of Gérard Depardieu”.

“The photographer pushed me by touching my bust and my chest with his arm (…) I am still in pain, he was extremely violent,” she declared to the Roman police before whom she testified a complaint of violence, according to his lawyer.

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“Faced with the violence of the situation, Gérard Depardieu, who intervened between the paparazzo and his companion, fell and slipped on him,” according to the lawyer. “The famous actor and his partner then got into the car, the photographer persisting despite everything that had just happened to bludgeon them with photos.”

The actor’s companion is at the Umberto I hospital in Rome, she said, affirming that “this photographer, who is not at his first altercation, claims nearly 170 visits to the emergency room for fighting with celebrities who refused to be photographed.

For his part, the photographer, contacted by telephone late in the afternoon by AFP, was unable to respond: “I can’t speak, I’m in the hospital.”

Complaint

According to Il Messaggero, who managed to interview him before his hospitalization, the photographer also plans to file a complaint: “I go to the hospital first, but then I take care of him: I file a complaint against him at the carabinieri,” he told the newspaper.

“When I photographed them at their table, obviously in secret, I couldn’t imagine how it would have ended,” he said. “Mamma mia, he’s so big. He punched me three times in the face.”

Rino Barillari, who started his career very young, experienced the golden age of La Dolce Vita in Rome, where he photographed celebrities like Liz Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Brigitte Bardot, Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida and Marcello Mastroianni.

At 75, Gérard Depardieu, sacred monster of French cinema, sees his star fading. He is due to be tried in October in Paris for sexual assault on two women during filming in 2021. He has also been indicted since 2020 for rape and sexual assault on a young actress, Charlotte Arnould.

Several other complaints have been filed against the star, who denies the facts with which he is accused.

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