Attorney Gloria Allred filed a lawsuit against Kanye West on behalf of a photographer who was allegedly assaulted by the rapper and blasted celebrities who defend the singer's conduct.
In the lawsuit, video photographer Danny Ramos alleges assault, battery, negligence and violation of civil rights.
Ramos and Allred said they were speaking out because West had still not apologized for his behavior, and because other celebrities had spoken out in support of West's actions -- which would seem to encourage others to harm members of the paparazzi.
"We are concerned that celebrity support for an attack on photographers will increase the risk of harm to them," Allred said, adding her client did no more than exercise his First Amendment rights.
Allred cited statements on Twitter by Kirstie Alley, Cher and Kylie Jenner.
Allred noted that singer Cher had thanked West on Twitter for "trashing those loathsome parasites who steal our most precious gift, time and privacy." Alley tweeted that it was too bad he didn't whip the photographer's behind.
Ramos told reporters Wednesday he was caught off guard by the singer.
"When Kanye West attacked me I was in complete shock," he said at a news conference with Allred, known for representing high-profile clients that have included love interests of Tiger Woods as well as a former staffer of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.
"All I had done was ask him a question I was was terrified when Kanye started to come at me," he said. "I backed up because I felt from the look in his eyes, he was going to attack me."
The suit comes after the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to file felony assault and attempted robbery charges and referred the issue to the city attorney to determine whether it warranted a misdemeanor charge.
West, who has long maintained a hostile stance toward paparazzi and even rapped about his contempt for the media, was captured on video July 19 wrestling the photographer to the ground at Los Angeles International Airport.
In papers from the D.A.'s office on the matter, Deputy Dist. Atty. Amy-Hannah Broersma wrote that West had "attacked a freelance photographer" who was subsequently treated for contusions and muscle strain at Marina del Rey Hospital.
She wrote that the case was declined after investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department's robbery-homicide division presented its findings in the matter and a video of the incident was reviewed.
The prosecutor said an attempted robbery charge was declined because there was insufficient evidence of any "specific intent." She added that felony assault charges were rejected because the victim did not sustain significant injuries.
The prosecutor noted that the videographer's camera was not booked into evidence and so "it is unknown whether it was damaged, therefore vandalism charges were not considered."
Allred said Ramos had simply asked to talk to the singer. West, she said, initially ignored him, but then turned toward the videographer.
"Then without provocation, Mr. West suddenly attacked Danny, punching him and attempting to wrestle Danny's camera from his hands," Allred said.
She said the videographer fell down onto his knees on the sidewalk and sustained injuries to his right hip and was in great pain and had to be taken to hospital. Allred said her client is seeking general and punitive damages.
The singer's lawyer has insisted West was simply trying to stop the Ramos from taking a picture.
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