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Photogs say Brand's guards assaulted them

October 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
News photographers say bodyguards for Russell Brand assaulted them as they shot pictures of the British comedian touring a national park in India before his wedding to Katy Perry.Perry and Brand are reportedly getting married on Saturday at a luxury resort in northern India.

According to AP photographer Mustafa Quraishi, four news photographers were taking pictures of Brand Friday in an Indian tiger reserve when one of the bodyguards came up to their jeep, punched their driver in the face and grab the vehicle's keys.

Quraishi said he jumped out of the jeep to try to retrieve the keys, but the bodyguard punched him repeatedly.

Two other photographers came to his assistance, but the other bodyguard began hitting them, causing one to start bleeding from the head. None of the photographers, however, sought medical care.

Brand watched the assault, the photographers said.

Park rangers later retrieved the keys from the guards' driver. The photographers filed a police complaint and asked for a written apology.

This isn't the first time Brand has had an altercation with photographers. The 35-year-old was arrested at LAX Sept. 17 for allegedly assaulting a paparazzi. He was booked for misdemeanor simple battery and later released on $20,000 bail. The case is pending.

Meanwhile, a tour operator in India says his company is one of several organizing the nuptials.

He says the wedding will be near the tiger sanctuary and tours of the sanctuary will be part of the six-day wedding celebration.

Private security has been stationed at the hotels where guests and the couple are staying.

The couple have given the exclusive coverage rights to a London magazine, and no other photographers or journalists will be allowed into the resort.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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