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Italy5 October 2005

Gérard Depardieu head-butts a photographer

Reporters Without Borders said it was unacceptable that French actor Gerard Depardieu head-butted a photographer who tried to take photos of him while he was shopping in San Lorenzo market in Florence.

“Depardieu could have used methods other than violence to stop the photographer”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said, while nevertheless condemning certain methods used by the popular press.

Depardieu head-butted freelance photographer Dario Orlandi in the face after he snatched pictures of the actor on 3 October 2005.

“I had started to take photos of Gérard Depardieu who was shopping in the market in the company of a young woman. The actor told me to stop or he would break my camera,” said Orlandi, who is not a member of the paparazzi, and works for several publications including Il Manifesto, La Reppublica, L’Espresso and L’Unita.

“I walked out of the market but then I followed the actor at about 15 metres distance and I took about 15 or so shots with a long lens. Gérard Depardieu spotted me as he was about to take a taxi. He started running towards me. I was scared and I also began to run. As I was running faster, he signalled to me that he wanted to talk to me. I let him approach me and without any warning he head-butted me in the face,” Orlandi told Reporters Without Borders.

The photographer was taken to Santa Mario Nuova Hospital in Florence, suffering from an œdema and doctors said he needed four days to recuperate before returning to work.

“It upsets me that a professional who is only doing his job should be attacked by an actor, who despite his fame, does not have the right to behave like this,” Mario Renzi, president for Florence Province.

“The photo of Gérard Depardieu running after me is splashed all over most Italian dailies today,” said Orlandi.

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