The photographer who sued Hilary Duff for calling him a “creep” for shooting a kid’s football game has reportedly died.
According to MyNewsLA.com, the attorney for photographer Darryl Wilkins confirmed that his client had died.
MyNewsLA.com reports that Wilkins’ attorney Fred Hanassab told Judge Upinder S. Kalra in the Los Angeles Superior Court that he had lost contact with his client.
Hanassab then discovered a media report stating that the 67-year-old photographer had died “in a vehicle” on May 19 and that the official cause of death was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
A Photographer Who Sued Hilary Duff for Defamation
In February 2020, Duff called Wilkins a “creep” and accused him of “stalking minors” on social media after the actress noticed him taking pictures of her seven-year-old son’s football match.
Duff started recording Wilkins with her smartphone camera and confronted the photographer — who said he was taking pictures of children playing football at a public park to test out his new camera gear.
“Can you stop taking pictures of the kids please?” Duff is heard on camera asking Wilkins.
“It’s legal. I’m taking pictures. I’m practicing photography. I’m not here to scare you or anything like that. Your paranoia is unwarranted,” Wilkins replies in the video.
Duff then posted a clip of the confrontation to her millions of followers on Instagram with the caption: “Paparazzi shooting kids. Go ‘practice’ your photography on adults! Creep! Laws need to change! This is stalking minors! Disgusting!”
After Duff’s video went viral, host Wendy Williams discussed Wilkins on her talk show The Wendy Williams Show and described the incident as “creepy to me.”
Wilkins then filed a defamation lawsuit against Duff and Williams, claiming that they both used innuendo and their celebrity platforms in a way that damaged his reputation.
However, in May 2022, the judge disagreed and tentatively dismissed the defamation portion of the case, citing free speech and California’s Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation law (SLAPP) which is designed to prevent lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits to intimidate those who are exercising their First Amendment rights.
MyNewsLA.com reports that Duff has filed an anti-SLAPP motion that was scheduled for hearing on October 12. Judge Kalra reportedly did not dismiss the complaint and left the upcoming hearing on the calendar to address other ideas.
Image credits: Header photo partly licensed via Depositphotos.