Kanye West: I Was Defending Myself During Paparazzo Throwdown

Suzy Byrne

Kanye West has come out swinging.

The 36-year-old rapper is responding to a civil lawsuit filed against him by paparazzo Daniel Ramos stemming from a physical altercation the men had July 19 at Los Angeles International Airport, which was memorably caught on camera.

In the papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on September 20 and obtained by "omg! Insider," the new dad "denies generally and specifically each and every allegation" made by Ramos, who accused the star of assault, battery, negligence, and violation of civil rights. West says he acted in self-defense because the photographer made him "believe his safety was in immediate danger."

The "Black Skinhead" singer also says Ramos, who is represented by celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, provoked him.

This incident — which took place a month after the birth of his daughter with Kim Kardashian, North West — has been a thorn in West's side. When it took place, it was captured on film, naturally, and showed West unloading on the pap when he (and a pack of his colleagues) refused to stop snapping photos him. West then wrestled Ramos to the ground.

In addition to this civil suit, the L.A. city attorney's office announced earlier this month that they were charging West with two misdemeanor crimes related to the spat: one for battery and one for attempted grand theft.

However, it hasn't been all bad news for West. The L.A. County district attorney's office decided against filing charges of felony assault and attempted robbery in the case, after it determined Ramos was not significantly injured, the Associated Press reported.

If convicted, West faces a maximum of six months of jail time for each misdemeanor. His arraignment is set for October 10, although he's not required to be in court that day.

West has long feuded with the paparazzi. In 2008, he was arrested when he and his road manager confronted photographers and smashed their cameras and had to complete community service and anger management classes.

His relationship with Kardashian — and the birth of their first child — has only intensified the interest in him. Meaning? Despite the outcome of this case, the 'razzi won't be going anywhere soon.

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