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Last Updated: Monday, 21 July, 2003, 07:25 GMT 08:25 UK
Coldplay star charged after beach row
Chris Martin
Chris Martin has struggled to keep his life private
Coldplay singer Chris Martin has been charged with malicious damage in Australia after he allegedly attacked a photographer's car.

Mr Martin was interviewed by police after being reported by Jon Lister, who had taken pictures of him surfing at Seven Mile Beach in Byron Bay, 500 miles north of Sydney.

The incident occurred hours before Coldplay were due to headline Sydney's Splendour in the Grass festival.

Mr Martin has been issued with a notice to appear at the Byron Bay local court on 8 October - although police said there were procedures which would allow him to be legally represented in his absence.

Inspector Greg Carey said it was alleged Mr Martin, 26, approached Mr Lister after he had been surfing.

"A short time later, the journalist has returned to the motor vehicle where he has seen the person smashing his windscreen and letting the air out of his tyres," he said.


"That journalist attended the Byron Bay police station where he reported the matter.

"Police interviewed the gentleman where he admitted he had lost his temper due to the constant harassment by that journalist, and consequently smashed his windscreen and let the air out of his tyres."

Mr Martin went on to play an hour-long set with Coldplay at the festival, but made no reference to the incident.

His record company in Australia, EMI, had no comment to make.

Since Coldplay rose to fame in 2000 with their album Parachutes, Chris Martin has struggled to keep his private life out of the public spotlight - especially after his relationship with Hollywood actress Gwyneth Paltrow began.

Coldplay are appearing on Monday at Sydney's Horden Pavillion, for the first of two shows, before heading to Auckland, and rounding off their world tour at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

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