A paparazzo is suing Kanye West over an alleged phone-throwing incident that occurred earlier this year, according to court documents obtained by Billboard. Photographer Nichol Lechmanik is suing the rapper for “assault, battery, negligence, and interference with the exercise of her civil rights following the alleged altercation.” The alleged incident occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 27 outside Sports Academy in Newbury Park, California, per the complaint filed in California Superior Court in Ventura County on Wednesday (May 31).
Lechmanik alleges that while she was driving her car and filming Ye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian exiting the sports facility, she noticed that the rapper had approached another photographer in an “angrily confronting” way.
“Given Defendant Ye’s reputation for violence against photographers, his history of physically harming them, and based on his threatening body language, Plaintiff became fearful for the photographer’s safety,” the complaint reads. It states that Lechmanik began filming the incident on her phone from inside her car with the window open.
Lechmanik claims that Ye came up to her car and said, “You all ain’t gonna run up on me like that.”
She responded to the rapper that she wasn’t, and that’s when Ye allegedly became “enraged” and reached into her car and “ripped her phone out of her hands” before throwing it “onto the street towards oncoming traffic.”
Lechmanik says that she has had “great mental and emotional pain and suffering” and that she “anticipates incurring medical and related expenses,” according to the lawsuit.
The photographer is requesting general and special damages, punitive and exemplary damages, civil penalties, and costs of the suit.
Additionally, she’s asking for an order that states West and “all persons acting in concert with him or acting on his behalf, from touching, striking, annoying, contacting, molesting, attacking, threatening, or otherwise interfering with…the Plaintiff, and all persons similarly situated, to pursue the occupation of the photographer.”