GMA News (Philippines), October 30, 2008
Keanu Reeves' attorney chips away at paparazzo
LOS ANGELES – A paparazzo suing Keanu Reeves told jurors Tuesday that he could not remember giving conflicting accounts of an incident involving the actor that he claims left him seriously injured.
Alison Silva buckled under questioning by Reeves' defense attorney and acknowledged he was beaten by fellow photographers while shooting photos of Britney Spears earlier this year. That assault came roughly a year after the incident in which Silva claims Reeves hit him with a car and left him unable to work.
Silva acknowledged the beating left him unconscious and forced him to delay a second surgery to repair damage in his left wrist he attributes to the run-in with Reeves.
The 28-year-old Brazilian-born paparazzo spent his second day testifying about the incident and his subsequent treatment. He is suing the star of "The Matrix" and "Speed," claiming he hit him with his Porsche in March 2007 while Silva was trying to shoot photos of the actor behind the wheel.
Jurors on Wednesday also heard from a fire department captain who testified that Silva complained of pain in his left knee moments after his fall, despite his later statements to doctors and testimony that Reeves' Porsche hit his right knee and that it hurt afterward.
The captain also testified that Silva was clutching his camera when paramedics arrived, contrary to the paparazzo's testimony that he dropped his camera when he says Reeves hit him with his Porsche.
Silva was generally able to answer his attorney's questions directly Tuesday and Wednesday.
But he repeated told Reeves' attorney, Mark D. Williams, that he could not remember aspects of the incident and statements he made to emergency responders and doctors.
Williams questioned Silva about telling an eyewitness that the incident was "an accident" then later allegedly telling an emergency room doctor that Reeves had sped toward him and tried to flee the scene.
In fact, Reeves remained at the scene, tried to summon help for Silva and attempted to talk to him after his fall.
Silva acknowledged he never responded to Reeves questions, but called a fellow paparazzo who came to retrieve his camera.
Jurors also listened to testimony about the injuries to Silva's left wrist. A doctor who evaluated Silva after an initial surgery failed acknowledged that the photographer told his staff that Reeves drove up onto a sidewalk to hit him.
Reeves and Silva have both testified that Silva fell in the street and Reeves' Porsche moved only a few feet.
The doctor testified that even with another surgery to repair his wrist, Silva may not be able to grip items properly afterward.
The case is expected to go to jurors by Friday. Silva will return to the stand on Thursday to undergo more questioning by Williams, who may offer jurors more details about Silva's beating by other paparazzi.
Despite sometimes contentious testimony Wednesday, Silva gushed at Reeves at one point, saying he followed his career and was nervous while shooting pictures of him.
"I'm a big fan," he said, acknowledging that Reeves had been cordial to him even after the trial began Monday.
As he heaped praise on the actor, Silva raised his left hand to motion to motion toward Reeves — the same one he had raised moments earlier to jurors to point out a surgical scar. - AP