Paparazzo Suing 2 Chainz, His Bodyguard Over Alleged Assault
A celebrity videographer who says he was knocked out by a bodyguard for rapper 2 Chainz is planning to sue both men, saying they left him bleeding on the floor of a Manhattan TV studio.
Veteran paparazzo R.J. Capak said he was waiting to photograph actress Rose McGowan outside NBC studios in Midtown on Friday morning when he learned the hip-hop artist was arriving to perform on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
The NY daily News reports that , the 40-year-old rapper, whose real name is Tauheed Epps, had been performing in a wheelchair since breaking his leg on tour in August.
“I started filming him coming out of the van,” Capak, 64, told the Daily News. “His pink wheelchair was there, the little dog is there, and he hands his bodyguard his crutch.”
Capak said the bodyguard, Rory Smith, walked in front of the 6-foot-5 rapper and held onto one of his crutches while blocking fans.
“I ran into the lobby, everything was all good, then the bodyguard came at me with the crutch like he’s gonna joust me,” Capak recalled.
The next thing Capak said he remembers was hearing the sound of a metal object crack against something.
“I woke up on the ground,” said Capak, who was taken to Bellevue Hospital for head wounds and bruises to his face.
According to a criminal complaint, Smith punched Capak in the face “causing him to fall backwards and hit the back of his head.”
A few hours later, police cuffed Smith, who was seen on surveillance video leaving 50 W. 50th St. immediately after the assault, Capak said.
“I showed them my video,” he said. “NBC security pulled their videos, and I believe that was enough to make an arrest.”
Smith, 48, was charged with misdemeanor assault, attempted assault and harassment charges. He was released without bail and is due back in court on Dec. 13.
But Capak isn’t waiting for the criminal case to end to pursue his civil options.
Appropriate legal action against Smith and 2 Chainz will be instituted in the near future,” said Capak’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein.
Capak, a videographer and photographer since 1984, said he’s been unable to work since the attack.
“My head is still throbbing.