MyFox Los Angeles (US), October 31, 2008
Expert Says Photographer Suing Keanu Reeves Caused Own Injury
Los Angeles -- A paparazzo who claims he was knocked down by Keanu Reeves' Porsche while taking pictures of the actor actually fell on his own and was not hit by the "Speed" star's car, a traffic accident expert testified Friday.
In his negligence lawsuit, filed last November in Los Angeles Superior Court, Alison Silva alleges Reeves hit him with the front of his Porsche while trying to drive away, knocking him to the pavement of a Rancho Palos Verdes street.
But the witness, Thomas F. Fugger, rejected that theory during his testimony on behalf of Reeves.
"Mr. Silva caused the event," Fugger said. "He caused things to occur by ... not yielding the right-of-way to a vehicle. Mr. Silva had the opportunity to move up onto the curb."
Fugger also said he does not believe Reeves' front bumper ever touched Silva because he would have been propelled onto the hood.
"There was no damage to the front bumper, grille or the hood," Fugger testified. "That tells us no impact occurred."
The more likely scenario is that Silva, while carrying his camera, put one hand on the Porsche's hood, stepped back, then rotated his body and fell backward, Fugger said.
He said he based his opinions on reviews of the accident report, deposition testimony, photographs and an inspection of the scene.
Reeves sat expressionless during today's testimony, as the 44-year-old actor has done for most of the civil trial. However, he chuckled when a juror, in response to Judge Elizabeth A. Grimes' comment that none of the panelists wore costumes for Halloween, pointed to the fact that he was in a business suit.
Reeves, whose screen credits include "The Matrix" trilogy, "The Lake House" and "Something's Gotta Give," had gone to Rancho Palos Verdes to visit his sister.
The judge is scheduled to instruct the jury on the law this afternoon, then the lawyers will give their final arguments.