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Harrelson Chokes TMZ Photog

LAPD Investigates

6/30/2006 5:46 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Woody Harrelson choked TMZ cameraman Josh Levine late Thursday night as he left a Hollywood nightclub, and the LAPD is conducting a criminal investigation.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. outside Element, a club frequented by celebrities. As Harrelson left with three women and two men, Levine and other photogs began shooting. Harrelson became irritated and asked Levine to stop shooting. Harrelson then walked over to Levine, put his hand on the camera and asked Levine to stop. Levine said "All I'm doing is my job." Harrelson, who appears in "A Prairie Home Companion," then said, "I've asked you to stop, are you going to stop?" and Levine replied, "Not when you ask me like that." The video then shows Harrelson break the camera and the picture goes dead.

TMZ obtained a second video, shot by another photog, showing the altercation. The photographer began shooting just as Harrelson grabbed Levine's neck.There is no audio in this portion of the tape.

After the incident, Levine was visibly agitated and argued with a man who appeared to be Harrelson's security guard. Then Levine flagged down an LAPD patrol car and told the two officers inside, "Hey bro, I just got assaulted by Woody Harrelson. He choked me out right now." A man standing near Levine added, "Yeah, I'm a witness." The police did not acknowledge Levine and simply drove away.


Harrelson's publicist, Ina Treciokas, told TMZ: "Unfortunately, this is not the first or last time the paparazzi have provoked an incident with a celebrity. Mr. Harrelson is evaluating all of his legal options against the photographer."

Levine went to LAPD's Hollywood division and filed a criminal complaint against Harrelson. The police have Levine's tape as evidence, and TMZ has given the LAPD a copy of the second tape. Levine, who suffered neck lacerations, was then taken by two officers to Cedars Sinai emergency room, where he was examined and released.

Josh Levine

LAPD Detective John Padilla told TMZ the investigation is ongoing and "We're going to present it to the D.A.'s office" as early as today. Padilla added, "With the tapes and all, it's pretty good evidence." Padilla said vandalism and assault and battery charges could be filed against Harrelson.


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This guy should be thrilled that someone WANTS to take his picture at this point of his career....exosure might give this ass more work. But then again who the hell wants to see more of Woody?!?

2974 days ago


If Woody wanted to be left alone so bad, why was he at Club Element? Maybe these celebs should get a clue and not hang out where the paparazzi ALWAYS ARE! I hope the Photog. sues the crap out of the stupid bastard

2974 days ago

james bell    

Like the police have nothing else to do but handle assault charges from annoying stalkarazzi like Levine. Good for Woody! Levine is a cry baby, who deserves to be choked on a consistant and regular basis. People say celebrities deserve it, well I think what's good for the goose is also good for the gander.

Take it like a man Levine.

2974 days ago

Jon McCurry    

How are pictures going to hurt him. He is a super big jerk. You know his father is in prison for murdering a judge. Bad jeans, I'd say!

2974 days ago

Margaret Dykes    

Celebrities are celebrities because they are photographed for and in movies, magszines, newspapers and unfortunately, tabloids. It goes with the fame, the money, the perks and the popularity. I love Woody, but he showed incredibly bad judgment by breaking this guys camera and laying hands on him. I think making it hard for the guy to get a good picture, such as wearing shades, a big hat or maybe just holding a newspaper or menu in front of your face would have caused a lot less hassle. On the other hand, if you agree to give the guy a couple of good shots he might just finish and go haunt somebody else!

2974 days ago


What is wring with paying attention?

Someone asks to be left alone and his question is over ridden.

I think the photographer should get a reprimand

Not a reward!

2974 days ago


this type of stalking by paparazzi is harrasment, and he should be able to protect himself. violence solves nothing people say, until the violence is against a celebrity, like Princess Diana. I would fight for myself as well, and beat the crap out of anyone that decided to follow me, especially after I told them to stop. I wish that Woody would have really beat him silly.

2974 days ago

regular guy    

What a scumbag this camera guy is, you can't completely provoke someone just because they are famous, what low life jerk the paparazzi want-a-be is.

GO WOODY, he asked him nicely, tell camera boy to get a LIFE!!

2974 days ago

David Jay    

Both have to get tolorence. The photog. got his picture, what else was he waiting for? When Woody asked him to stop, he should have had the brains to do so.
After Three times, you're out. However, Woody should have ignored the guy. Violence gets you no where. Now, both will probably end up in court in a legal battle. Nobody wins.

2974 days ago


GO WOODY!! Your the MAN........Seems to me he asked fairly poltely given the circumstances..........Your photog is a PUNK!!

2974 days ago


OK.........I know what you are thinking....atleast the PUNK PHotographer can SPELL!

2974 days ago


that camara guy was a jerk
maybe he was doing a job but Woody asked him to stop and the camare guy refused and was kinda cocky about it
If they ask you to stop stop you idiot its his privacy
I would have done the same thing at least i would have broke the camara
maybe someone should start follow these people during outings with their famlies and friends and start posting them all over the place

2974 days ago


Woody Harrelson had lots of options:

1. Ignore the photographer
2. Get into a car and leave
3. Go back inside and leave by another exit

Having your picture taken is part of the price of fame.
And the story explicitly said Wood "walked over to the
photographer" and asked him to stop filming. Meaning
the photographer was static and passive, and Woody
approached HIM. It was a public place and the photographer,
earning his living, was under no obligation to oblige.
Woody Harrelson should stay home with his new baby
if he doesn't want his picture taken. He sounds like
an arrogant megalomaniac.

2974 days ago


Hey! He ask him to stop, but he shouldn't have put his hands on the guy, , Woody has a reputation of having problems with papz, so the guy should have left well enough alone...unfortunately Woody will most likely have to pay the guy off....

2974 days ago

Joyce Link    

That photographer should read up on the Harrelson family history. He's lucky he didn't get assassinated. Harrelson's dad is still doing time for his "assault."

2974 days ago
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