Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Brand 'watched bodyguards attack'

Russell Brand's bodyguards were accused of attacking photographers

Photographers have claimed Russell Brand looked on as one of his wedding guests and a bodyguard attacked them in India - just hours before the comedian is due to wed.

The news snappers claimed the pair as they followed Russell and his party through a well-known safari park.

And they said the man and the bodyguard left them stranded in the park - home to tigers, leopards and hyenas - unable to start the engine of their jeep.

Russell is due to marry Katy Perry on Saturday in a ceremony close to the Ranthambhore National Park, which is 80 miles from Jaipur in Rajasthan.

The four photographers - from Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the Hindustan Times - were taking pictures of the comic and actor. They claimed they were following about 100 metres behind two jeeps carrying Brand and others.

AP photographer Mustafa Quraishi said the man, later described by police as a wedding guest, approached their vehicle punched the driver in the face and grabbed the keys.Quraishi said he jumped out of the jeep to try to retrieve the keys, but then the man attacked him, punching him repeatedly, breaking his glasses, smashing and taking his camera flash and leaving him with a cut on his arm.

Two of the other photographers came to his aid, Quraishi said, but the man and the bodyguard began hitting them, leaving one with a bleeding head wound.

They claimed Russell watched the incident.

The alleged attackers were then said to have driven away leaving them stranded, although park rangers later retrieved the keys from the guards' driver.

Russell, 35, was arrested at a Los Angeles airport in September for allegedly assaulting a photographer, and he was released on 20,000 dollars bail. The case is still pending.

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