X17 paparazzi beat rival photographer unconscious on Britney watch

Britney surrounded by paparazzi earlier this year. It looks like that’s Silva to the right of her.
Photographer Alison Silva is suing paparazzi photo agency X17 after he was beaten unconscious by their photographers outside Britney Spears’ house. On March 5, Silva says he was parked a block away from Britney’s house when three photographers working for X17 ganged up on him, beating and kicking him while he lay on the ground. He had to go to the hospital for treatment for a broken nose and head trauma.

alisonsilva.jpgAlison Silva told MTV News that on March 5, he had parked one block away from Spears’ home when three X17 photographers — whom he identified as Thomas Madiana, Carlos Madiana and Max Rinadelle — allegedly approached him and said, “You should not be here. Only X17 gets these shots.” Silva claims that one of the photographers punched him and knocked him to the ground, then the three kicked him to the point where he passed out. When he came to, he claims they were kicking him in the face. “I didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

Three witnesses called 911, and Silva was taken by ambulance to the emergency room with a police escort, according to the police report. One of the witnesses told police officers that he heard one of the attackers say, “Let’s go f— him up, there are 10 of us here,” saw one of the attackers go get a metal tube from his car for that purpose, and heard another attacker say, “Don’t kill him! Don’t kill him!”, according to the report…

“They kicked and punched me almost to death,” Silva said. “I was beat up for doing my job. Most people think, ‘Oh, he’s just a paparazzo, he’s nothing.’ But this is not nothing. This is a big business, and if it weren’t for people like me, those pictures wouldn’t be in the magazines you enjoy.”

Silva asks for unspecified general and punitive damages in his suit, in which he accuses X17 of battery; assault; false imprisonment; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligence; and negligent training, supervision and retention of unfit employees.

[From MTV News via Gawker]

Gawker points out that it’s not like X17 owners denied that the beating occurred. Owner Brandy Navarre is quoted as saying the suit won’t hold up because the photographers are freelancers, not employees, and that “They give me their pictures but whatever they do on their own is their own business.”

In February there was a story that photo agencies were hiring gang members to muscle out competition and get access to shots of Britney, and given this latest accusation that story doesn’t seem so far off.

Photographers may be getting desperate for another reason. Britney isn’t driving around aimlessly all day or getting in mishaps now that she’s under her father’s care and that’s bad for the paparazzi’s business. Yahoo’s OMG! quotes X17 photographer Felipe, as saying that “After [Britney’s dad] took over the conservatorship, it got really, really slow for us.” Owner Brandy Navarre is quoted as telling Access Hollywood that “The subject of the photo is just not as interesting as it once was, so the prices do go down.” She also says they have only three photographers down from ten on Britney now, and that “We’re moving on to other celebrities like Brad and Angelina and Jamie Lynn Spears.”

The quotes from X17’s owner remind me of the end of the Britney Spears South Park episode, in which the townspeople hone in on their next target to ritualistically sacrifice. At least Britney really hasn’t been photographed to death, and has managed to rebuild some semblance of a normal life.

Britney had a relatively quiet Easter. She spent the holiday at her old home in Malibu with her mom and dad, and they were seen walking along the beach. Just stay boring, Britney.

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12 Responses to “X17 paparazzi beat rival photographer unconscious on Britney watch”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    God, the paparazzi really are like a pack of wild and dangerous animals. Anyone would go crazy with those poisonous people near you, always following you around.

  2. Anastasia says:

    You got that right. Just stay boring. Stay away.

  3. xiaoecho says:

    That picture of Britney (with the odd ‘look’) compared with those taken recently, show just how far she’s come since the intervention of her family and appropriate medical treatment – good for her

  4. Scott F says:

    What the hell do these companies expect when they hire thugs and gang-bangers to follow these celebs around? Mark my words – within the next 6 months to a year someone is going to get shot, and most likely more than one someone.

    It used to be that they would just slash tires and shit, but as the price for these photos goes ever higher, people will just get more and more desperate to beat out the competition. Frankly, the best I think we can hope for is that they don’t take any innocent bystanders with them when it happens.

  5. Roo says:

    Doesn’t she live in a gated communtiy? I know X17 stalks her house, so much as hiding in the bushes or whatever to get shots through her windows. How can paps get in there?

  6. Roo says:

    *community. It’s early.

  7. headache says:

    I don’t have a problem with all paparazzi but ones who nearly cause accidents and beat the piss out of each other to snap a photo of a sick woman make me ill.

  8. mollination says:

    god that header picture is so sad.

    Stay well Brit!

  9. Rianna says:

    i agree headache. they went too far bashing that man up. i hope he gets better.

  10. Maya says:

    Isn’t Silva the same paparrazo suing Keanu Reeves?

  11. Anonymous says:

    Karma is a bitch perhaps he shouldn’t have lied about getting hit by a certain porsche 911…

  12. XX says:

    Will you please learn to differentiate between “The Paparazzi” and X17. X17 are renowned for these tactics and are gangbanger scumbags who have totally destroyed the business.