Gérard Depardieu Attacks Photographer Known as ‘King of Paparazzi’

gerard depardieu punches king of paparazzi photographer

French film star Gérard Depardieu has been accused of attacking a well-known Italian photographer, known as the “king of paparazzi.”

On Tuesday, Depardieu allegedly punched veteran paparazzi photographer Rino Barillari at Harry’s Bar on the Via Veneto in Rome, Italy.

According to journalist Gianna Riotto who witnessed the incident, Depardieu was dining at an outdoor table with a female companion and two other people around 14:00 when Barillari — known as “the king” in the Italian paparazzi community — started photographing them.

Riotto claims that Barillari, who has had a six-decade-long career as a photographer, was asked multiple times to stop taking pictures of Depardieu. When the paparazzi left them, he was followed into the street by an upset woman who had been sitting with Depardieu.

‘There Was a Lot of Blood’

The Oscar-nominated actor then allegedly punched the 80-year-old Barillari three times in the face leaving the photographer with a bloodied face.

According to The New York Times, Riotta says that Depardieu grabbed Barillari “and hit him, hit him, hit him.”

The journalist says that “there was a lot of blood” following the altercation.

Riotta claims that when Depardieu got into a vehicle after attacking Barillari, the paparazzi photographer “jumped in front of the car and kept on shooting.”

Riotta says he gave a witness statement to local police when they arrived on the scene. However, it was unclear whether Barillari, who was taken by ambulance to a downtown hospital, would press charges against the actor.

Depardieu did not respond to The New York Times’ request for comment. However, Delphine Meillet, a lawyer for Magda Vavrusova, the female companion who had been sitting with the Cyrano de Bergerac actor, alleges that Barillari “violently pushed” her, touching her chest with his arm.

Meillet says that Depardieu intervened and had “fallen and slid onto” the photographer. The lawyer says that Vavrusova was taken to a hospital and plans to sue Barillari.

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

Barillari is one of the most famed paparazzi photographers in Italy, with a personal archive of over 400,000 photos. During his long career, Barillari has photographed stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Ingrid Bergman in Rome. He is said to be the original paparazzi whose antics inspired Federico Fellini to make the 1960 film La Dolce Vita.

A 2018 exhibition about Barillari revealed how the photographer had recorded 163 hospital trips, 11 broken ribs, one stabbing, and 76 smashed cameras (some of which were on show) during his 60-year career.

Depardieu, one of France’s top movie stars, has been at the center of a growing number of scandals and numerous allegations of sexual assault in recent years. He is due to go on trial in Paris in October for alleged sexual assaults against two women during a 2021 film shoot. The actor has denied any wrongdoing.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.