Jury unanimous: Reeves doesn’t owe paparazzo
Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:18 pm
LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s a most excellent outcome for Keanu Reeves: The “Matrix” actor doesn’t owe a dime to the paparazzo who sued him.
After deliberating for less than three hours, jurors unanimously rejected the civil lawsuit Monday, ruling that Reeves is not responsible for the photographer’s alleged injuries. Alison Silva had asked the jury to award him $711,974, which includes medical bills, lost wages and punitive damages.
“I respect the jury’s decision,” Silva told reporters outside the Los Angeles County Superior Court after the verdict was read. “That’s what we were here for since the beginning.”
Silva said he would continue to work as a paparazzo despite the jury’s decision.
Would he ever attempt to snap Reeves’ photo again?
“Why not? It’s business,” he responded. “I wish Keanu is happy in his life. I have nothing against Keanu.”
Silva claimed that the star of “The Matrix,” “Speed” and “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” struck him with his Porsche in March 2007, causing him to fall and injure his left wrist.
Jurors heard how Silva gave contradictory statements about what happened and even saw a video of the celeb shooter using his supposedly damaged hand to scale down a chain link fence after getting video of Britney Spears.
“We obviously felt from day one that Mr. Reeves was not negligent,” said Reeves’ attorney, Alfred Gerisch, after the verdict. “It’s unfortunate that this lawsuit was brought and it’s unfortunate that we had to go this far — a lot of time, a lot of effort and obviously a lot of money.”
The actor waited for the verdict outside the courthouse’s cafeteria on the roof but declined to comment after the decision.
Attorneys for both sides issued closing arguments Friday before the jury deliberated about five minutes and left for the weekend. They resumed their work Monday morning.
The panel of jurors — six men and six women — was a decidedly Hollywood bunch. One of the jurors said he is an animator for “The Simpsons,” while another helps coordinate movie shoots in public parks. A pair of actresses and a former voice-over artist were eliminated from the jury pool.
Reeves, who stars in the upcoming remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” testified early on. He remained in the courtroom throughout the five-day trial, occasionally conferring with his lawyers and signing autographs in the hallway.