Russell Brand’s bodyguards assaulted four news photographers, including one from The Associated Press, when they were taking pictures of the British comedian Friday in an Indian tiger reserve before his wedding to Katy Perry, the photographers said.
Brand watched the assault, the photographers said.
The photographers were following about 330 feet (100 meters) behind two jeeps — one carrying Brand, a woman who was not Perry, a man and two children, and the other carrying two bodyguards who spoke with British accents.
As the photographers from AP, Reuters, Agence France-Presse and the Hindustan Times newspaper took photographs of Brand, one of the guards came up to their jeep, punched their driver in the face and grab the vehicle’s keys, AP photographer Mustafa Quraishi said.
Quraishi said he jumped out of the jeep to try to retrieve the keys, but the bodyguard punched him repeatedly, breaking his glasses, smashing and then taking his camera flash and opening up a cut on his arm.
Two other photographers came to Quraishi’s assistance, he said, but the other guard began hitting them, causing one to start bleeding from the head.
The guards then drove away, leaving the photographers stranded in the park, which is home to tigers, leopards, wild boars, hyenas and sloth bears, Quraishi said.
Park rangers later retrieved the keys from the guards’ driver.
Brand and American pop singer Perry are scheduled to get married Saturday at a resort near the reserve in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
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.
Brand, 35, was arrested at a Los Angeles airport 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.
TMZ first reported that altercation and aired video.
Perry’s second album, “Teenage Dream,” was one of this year’s best-selling debuts.
A segment she recently taped for Sesame Street wasn’t aired because the show deemed her oufit too revealing for the kids show. The 26-year-old pop singer of “California Gurls” wore a gold bustier top as she sang a version of her hit “Hot N Cold.”
In England, Brand has built a reputation for his drug-addled past and hedonistic tendencies, and he’s sought treatment for drug addiction and sex addiction. He detailed his storied history in his 2007 memoir “My Booky Wook.” Brand is next set to star as Trinculo in a version of “The Tempest” and the title character in a remake of “Arthur.”