New York Daily News (US), October 29, 2008
Keanu courts humor against paparazzo
There were no flying roundhouse kicks, but "Matrix" star Keanu Reeves did turn on his charm Tuesday in an L.A. court as he defended himself against a paparazzo.
Taking the stand to deny he'd intentionally knocked over snapper Alison Silva with his 1996 Porsche, Reeves grinned at jurors and seemed to channel his slacker character in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."
When asked to estimate the height of the car he was driving the March 2007 night he allegedly injured Silva, Reeves threw up his hands and quipped, "I haven't been calibrated."
The "Speed" star said he slowly moved his Porsche forward to nudge Silva out of the way. But Reeves argued, "to my recollection, I didn't hit him. I [saw] his legs cross and he [started] to kind of stumble."
Keanu, who testified for an hour, asserted that it's "common sense" to get out of the way when someone starts a car.
The 28-year-old paparazzo said he had spotted Reeves in West Hollywood and followed him to Palos Verdes, The News' Nancy Dillon reports. Silva said he considered hiding in a construction site's Porta-Potty until Reeves looked over his shoulder and saw him.
"In the [paparazzi] biz, he is considered a shark ... hard to get ... if he sees you, he'll try to hide himself," Silva told jurors.
Even Reeves laughed when Silva said his hope was that he'd catch the elusive star with a new girlfriend.
"I was nervous," Silva admitted about the moment Reeves exited the medical facility and it was time for him to start snapping. He said he fumbled with equipment that wasn't working properly and didn't think he was blocking Reeves when the Porsche began to move forward.
"The bumper of the car hit my right knee," Silva, originally from Brazil, told the panel. "I don't remember myself stumbling with my own feet. ... I went backward on my hand."
Silva's lawyer said in his opening statement that the photographer already has $40,000 in medical bills from the accident and needs $50,000 more for bone-graft surgery to fix his broken wrist.
Reeves' lawyer said a doctor will testify that Silva's wrist injury could be from his youth, when he was an avid soccer player. The trial is expected to run through Friday.
Reeves conceded the shutterbug hadn't tried to follow him into the Palos Verdes medical facility, where he was visiting a family member. He quipped that the pap "didn't shoot any flaming arrows, either."