Over the weekend, our favorite creative genius was out with newly pink-tressed Kim when, as he was trailed by a shutterbug, he pretended to urinate against a wall in a warehouse area where the couple was doing a photo shoot. There seemed to be some confusion over whether or not he actually peed — one would assume photographers would have seen a puddle — but, in fact, he said he didn’t. He was just kidding. For the record, Kim found it hilarious.
Oh, Kanye and his LOL jokes, am I right? Not really. When it comes to his relationship with the paparazzi, there tends to be more drama (and sometimes fisticuffs) than knee-slaps. But maybe baby No. 3, Chicago West, has softened up dad.
Kanye has long had a complicated relationship with the ’razzi. The biggest clash, perhaps, was in July 2013 when he faced charges of battery and attempted theft after an altercation with photographer Daniel Ramos at Los Angeles International Airport. The following year, he received two years of probation after being convicted of misdemeanor battery on a photographer. His sentence also included 24 anger management sessions, 250 hours of community service, and restitution to the victim. The photographer went on to sue him in a civil case, and they settled out of court in 2015.
In the middle of that, West was named a suspect in a misdemeanor battery assault probe in Beverly Hills in 2014. According to reports, he allegedly assaulted a cameraman outside a Beverly Hills chiropractor’s office, but he avoided criminal charges by reaching a civil settlement.
Prior to that (and pre-Kim), he was arrested in September 2008 during an airport scuffle in which he reportedly broke a pap’s camera. He got community service. Two months later, in London, he was arrested again for an assault on a pap outside a nightclub.
Those are just a few of many incidents between West and the paparazzi, whom he compared to Nazis in his song “Flashing Lights.” He doesn’t discriminate based on gender; he rushed at a female photographer after she made a comment about Kim’s ex Reggie Bush. He’s put all the paparazzi on notice at times, including his long rant on Jimmy Kimmel in 2013. He’s schooled his kids on what to say when photogs come around (“No pictures!”). However, he’s also apologized and hugged it out with some of them.
Watch Kanye’s long ramble on Jimmy Kimmel Live in 2013, including a whole bit about the disrespectful way paparazzi speak to his family:
And like his pee prank, he’s also had some light-hearted moments with photographers — well, as light-hearted as the rapper can have with anyone. In March 2016, he ditched his Uber for a lift from a shutterbug. The same year, he broke up a paparazzi fight at LAX. He’s handed out boxes of his Yeezy sneakers to the celeb hounds. He’s even made some them into models. And, perhaps the ultimate compliment, he copied their photo-taking style for his new Yeezy apparel line. He photographed models, including Paris Hilton, in his clothes in a series of photos that look like paparazzi pix.
As you can see, it’s a long and complicated relationship, but the fact that he’s being playful shows that things are looking up. Maybe he can get more creative than a pee joke next time, now that he’s in his 40s.
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