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Headlinesn > Entertainment > Gérard Depardieu leaves the ‘King of Paparazzi’ ‘bloodied’ after brawl in Rome
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Gérard Depardieu leaves the ‘King of Paparazzi’ ‘bloodied’ after brawl in Rome

French actor Gérard Depardieu has been accused of repeatedly punching Rino Barillari, known as the “king of paparazzi,” in an incident on Tuesday (21 May).

According to a report in The New York Times, Depardieu, 75, accosted Barillari, 79, on the Via Veneto outside Harry’s Bar.

The Times quotes La Repubblica columnist Gianni Riotta as a witness to the attack. He reports that Barillari had repeatedly been asked to stop taking photographs, and that when he left he was followed into the street by an upset woman who had been sitting with Depardieu.

Riotta said that Depardieu caught Barillari “and hit him, hit him, hit him”.

He added: “There was a lot of blood.”

Riotta gave a witness statement to the police, but it remained unclear whether Barillari, who was taken away in an ambulance, would press charges.

Gérard Depardieu and photographer Rino Barillari, known as the ‘King of Paparazzi’ (Getty)

The Independent has approached Depardieu’s lawyers for comment.

The woman who was sitting with Depardieu has been identified as Magda Vavrusova.

Vavrusova’s lawyer, Delphine Meillet, said in a statement that Barillari had “violently pushed” Vavrusova, touching her chest with his arm.

She said that when Depardieu intervened, he had “fallen and slid onto” the photographer. Vavrusova was also taken to hospital and plans to sue Barillari, according to Meillet.

“After everything that had happened, the photographer persisted in deluging them with photos,” she added.

According to Riotta, after Depardieu got into a vehicle following the altercation Barillari “jumped in front of the car and kept on shooting”.

It was only after photographing the car’s license plate that Barillari fell to the ground.

This is not the first incident that left Barillari in need of medical attention. A 2018 exhibition about his six-decade career recorded 163 hospital trips, 11 broken ribs, one stabbing and 76 smashed cameras, including stitches after a dust-up with the actor Peter O’Toole.

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Last month, Depardieu was ordered to stand trial in October over allegations of sexual assault by Paris prosecutors.

The actor was summoned by police over two separate allegations brought by two women who worked with Depardieu on film sets in 2014 and 2021, according to broadcaster BFMTV.

The women have reportedly alleged that Depardieu groped them during filming, once in 2014 on the set of The Magician and the Siamese, and the other in 2021 on the set of The Green Shutters.

Earlier this year, The Independent’s Geoffrey Macnab assessed the actor’s reputation and wrote that “Depardieu’s brutish onscreen brilliance can’t save a legacy in freefall”.

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