E! Online (US), July 8, 2008
Keanu Says Pap Caused His Own Downfall
Keanu Reeves swears that the paparazzo who's suing him fell down with no help from the actor's Porsche.
Alison Silva's feet "tripped over each other," the Matrix star stated in a declaration filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court in response to Silva's accusation that Reeves purposely knocked him over with his car while pulling out of a parking spot last year, leaving him with serious bodily injuries, as well as "severe shock and injuries to the nervous system and person."
Reeves' camp is looking to have part of the shutterbug's negligence suit dismissed, including his request for punitive damages.
The actor also maintains that, following the incident, he immediately returned to the Rancho Palos Verdes home where he'd been staying and asked his hosts to call 911.
After returning to the scene, "I brought Mr. Silva some water," Reeves stated. "As I was waiting for the paramedics and the sheriff to arrive, a man standing nearby asked Mr. Silva what happened. Mr. Silva exclaimed, 'I am a paparazzo. He is a movie star. It was an accident.'"
A costly accident, as far as Silva is concerned. He sued Reeves in November, claiming he was unable to work and had incurred costly medical and "incidental" expenses as a result of the run-in.
The plaintiff claims that Reeves was covering his face when he at first tried to leave the parking lot, which the actor denies.
"At no time did my vehicle make contact with Mr. Silva other than when [he] bent over and placed his hand on the hood of my car," Reeves' declaration continues.
He did not know Silva, he added, but knew he was a paparazzo "because of the aggressive manner in which he was photographing me as I walked toward my car, by which I mean repeated, multiple photographs using a strobe light."
Reeves then started to inch his car forward and backward to let the pap know that he wanted out.
He "slowly re-engaged the clutch causing the car to move forward. Mr. Silva began to back up. Mr. Silva then placed a hand on the hood of my car and continued to walk backwards as my car inched forward.
"Mr. Silva continued to take a few more steps backward as his feet tripped over each other. At this point, I stopped my car. Mr. Silva struggled to stand up and lost his balance and fell to the ground."
And while covering one's face may be standard actor-flashbulb protocol, the Street Kings star maintains he was not trying to shield himself from view as he drove away.
"In fact, the photographs by Mr. Silva in this litigation show that I was not covering my face," his declaration continues.
"I asked Mr. Silva if he was OK, and Mr. Silva responded that he had pain in his left knee."
A hearing on Reeves' motion to dismiss is set for Sept. 22. Yesterday, his camp won its motion to keep the actor's upcoming deposition under wraps—if the case goes that far. The judge expressed optimism that the two sides would settle before then.