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Matisyahu

Accused of Kicking Woman

in the Face at Concert

12/23/2011 10:15 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

1223_matisyahu_tmz_BNFormerly bearded Jewish rapper Matisyahu allegedly booted a female photojournalist in the face at a concert in Brooklyn this week ... all because he felt the flash was "distracting."

It all went down Wednesday night -- when a photog named Rebecca Smyne tweeted, "I was just attacked by mAtisyahu calling cops pressing charges. Wtf! He kicked me in face and broke my camera!!!!!"

A short time later, Smyne went back to Twitter and explained ... "I'm ok; after cops showed, matisyahu's manager, who witnessed the incident, gave me a fat stack of cash to cover damages. Happy hanukkah!"

After the show Matisyahu, posted a tweet to Rebecca ... saying, "sorry about last night.I totally snapped.I wouldn't call it a kick, more like stepping into the crowd."

He continued, "being that you've shot so many shows you should know how distracting a huge flash in your face is."

Rebecca claims she barely used a flash that night -- and calls BS on Matisyahu's "it wasn't a kick" defense ... saying, "He stepped on my face on purpose ... it hurt."

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Matisyahu released a statement shortly after the incident -- saying, “I regret what transpired when I tried to remove the camera from the photographer’s hands last night ... I reacted impulsively out of frustration and for that I apologize.”   

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