Kanye West isn’t fighting felony charges for his recent scuffle with a paparazzo, but he will be facing off against famed civil rights attorney Gloria Allred. In a press conference held on Wednesday (August 21), Allred announced that she’s representing Daniel Ramos, the shutterbug that ‘Ye reportedly roughed up outside of a Los Angeles International Airport terminal on July 19. The photographer has now officially filed a lawsuit against West.
At the conference, Allred accused Kanye of assault, battery, negligence, and interference with Ramos’ civil rights. “Celebrities are not above the law and do not have any right or special license to hurt others,” she said, noting that West has “still not apologized to Danny” for interfering with the man’s “right to pursue a lawful occupation.” Ramos said he was in “complete shock” and felt terrified during the incident. They confirmed that he was taken to a hospital.
“I was just trying to do my job,” the photographer said, with Allred adding, “Celebrities should thank [photographers] that they get coverage.” Oddly though, this job seems a bit beneath Allred. The noted attorney is known for taking on high-profile, high-stakes cases, particularly those involving women’s rights. To wit, she famously represented Nicole Brown Simpson’s family in the historic O. J. Simpson murder trial.
As SPIN noted earlier this week, the L.A. County district attorney’s office decided not to pursue a felony charge against the Yeezus auteur, but Kanye could still face misdemeanor charges from the city attorney. All this legal drama stems, of course, from an incident TMZ caught on camera several weeks back: While leaving LAX, West lunged at a photographer and reportedly tried to wrestle away his camera. According to an eyewitness account, ‘Ye threw some punches and paramedics arrived on the scene, but prosecutors claimed the photog suffered no significant injuries and said it was unclear if his camera was damaged.
As seen in the clip below, before West attacks the man (who apparently didn’t get the “Don’t Talk to Kanye” memo), he says, “What you’re trying to do is get me in trouble so I step out and have to pay you like $250,000.” Indeed, with Allred involved, Kanye may have a very hefty payout ahead of him. While her client in this case is a man, it should be noted that Allred — who is an active feminist and the current president of Women’s Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund — is targeting the increasingly irascible Mr. West not long after Yeezus reignited a long-heated debate about misogyny in rap.
We know where Lou Reed stands on lines like “Put my fist in her like a civil rights sign,” (“C’mon, he’s just having fun,” Reed argues), and we know Trent Reznor “can’t endorse what [Kanye]’s saying lyrically.” It’s not hard to imagine Allred vehemently disagreeing.