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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 October 2005, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Reese photographer denies assault
Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon has complained about the conduct of paparazzi
A paparazzi photographer has pleaded not guilty to using aggressive tactics to get pictures of actress Reese Witherspoon with her children.

Todd Wallace, 44, has been charged with assault after the incident at a Disney theme park in California last month.

He allegedly hit a five-year-old girl with his camera and shoved two theme park employees out of the way to get shots of the Legally Blonde star.

Ms Witherspoon was at the park for her six-year-old daughter's birthday.

Mr Wallace faces four counts of battery, one count of false imprisonment and causing and permitting a child to suffer, and one count of inflicting unjustifiable mental suffering.

'Nothing wrong'

He took photos of Ms Witherspoon and her group at the California Adventure Park from afar at first, police said.

But he then allegedly got close to them, became aggressive and left some of the children in tears before the group got to a backstage area.

Mr Wallace could be sentenced to up to three-and-a-half years in jail if convicted.

Outside court in Fullerton, California, the photographer insisted he had done nothing wrong and had photos and video from the incident to prove it. He is due to return to court on 28 October.

Orange County Superior Court Commissioner George Berenson also ordered him to stay 300 yards (275 metres) away from the actress.

In an unrelated incident, Ms Witherspoon complained to police when paparazzi allegedly chased her from her gym to her home and tried to force her off the road in April. No charges resulted from that incident.

Such confrontations have persuaded California governor and former film star Arnold Schwarzenegger to triple damages for celebrities assaulted by paparazzi photographers.

A night with the paparazzi
15 Dec 04 |  Magazine


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