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CNN Larry King Live
Paparazzi: Do They Go Too Far?
Aired April 06, 2007 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST: Tonight, the paparazzi -- you see them at every red carpet event, swarming, screaming, hiding in the bushes of the stars and fighting tooth and nail to get the big money shots that we pay to look at.
Some call them stalkers. They call themselves journalists.
But who are these guys? How do they really work and why do they do this?
Now, some of the biggest paparazzi in Hollywood will tell us and we'll ask them and the publicists and lawyers who stand between them and the stars who draws the line between privacy and publicity and how is the Internet changing the high stakes game of fame?
The paparazzi -- are they ready for their close-up?
Find out next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Welcome to the "What Would Jesus Really Do?" post-show, LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Jimmy Kimmel in for Larry tonight, wearing his suspenders, as well.
Tonight, we're going to try to answer the question do paparazzi photographers really jump out of trash cans and invade the privacy of the beautiful people? And is there anything they won't do to get the shot?
We'll take a look at the lengths one of our guests tonight went to in this clip from the CNN special, "Chasing Angelina."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CHASING ANGELINA")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, if she gets out and walks toward the building, then it'll be fairly easy.
I'm going to go to that back road.
No, I don't see it. No. No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where? Right here?
Yes. Jolie is out. Jolie is out. Standby.
I don't know where she's going. She's walking parallel with the building toward the park.
Yes, she's with Zahara. She's with the young girl, her new daughter.
Going toward the building now. They're going toward the building now.
Straight to you, Pierre. Straight to you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: That paparazzo photographer, Ben Evenstad, joins me here in Los Angeles. He took the photos not only of Angelina, but of Britney Spears without her panties on and shaving her hair off her head.
Also here in L.A. veteran celebrity photographer Peter Brandt. He has been sued by Jennifer Aniston. He was nearly run over by Cher's boyfriend. And he had, actually, a friendly encounter with Tom Hanks.
And Howard Bragman is one of Hollywood's most powerful publicists. And you know that because he wrote his intro himself.
Thank you for being here tonight.
I guess we'll start with -- let's start with Ben.
How do you get into this business?
BEN EVENSTAD: Well, I went to UCLA and I graduated in 2001.
KIMMEL: And you majored in -- in...
EVENSTAD: Political science.
KIMMEL: I see.
EVENSTAD: Which trained me well. I was getting autographs as a hobby, just kind of during college. And then I was actually selling those, making some money. And through that, I met some photographers, the paparazzi photographers and just asked them for a job.
KIMMEL: Peter, how long have you been doing this?
PETER BRANDT: I've been a celebrity photographer for probably more than 29 years.
KIMMEL: Twenty-nine years.
BRANDT: Yes. A long time.
KIMMEL: How has it changed since you started 29 years ago?
BRANDT: Well, the paparazzis, in the beginning when I started were -- we had a lot more freedom and we had a lot more access to celebrities. Now, it's the pack rat crowd now, and it's not something that I do, but that's the way it is today.
KIMMEL: Howard, what is your relationship like with the paparazzi?
HOWARD BRAGMAN, PUBLICIST: Not the best relationship in the world. I get kind of offended. I've been in cars and been chased. I've been in cars that have been smashed. I've been walking on the street and had paparazzi literally run out behind bushes. I've had them accost my clients. And not my favorite people in the world.
KIMMEL: Either of these two guys among the crashers or accosters?
BRAGMAN: These are the -- the best of the worst.
KIMMEL: I see.
Now, Ben, you -- as we saw in that video, you do actually, you get in your car and you'll -- you'll chase after a celebrity.
EVENSTAD: Absolutely. Yes.
KIMMEL: And do you feel like you're endangering their lives at all when you do that?
EVENSTAD: No. I mean we are journalists and we're following a...
KIMMEL: Yes, and strippers are dancers. You're a journalist -- how do you -- when you say you're a journalist, what -- how do you -- I mean I guess technically you are a journalist.
EVENSTAD: It's celebrity news. It's not hard news. It's not covering the war in Iraq or whatever. But it's celebrity news and there is a very healthy magazine industry right now that has a lot of pages to fill with celebrity photos.
KIMMEL: But is it celebrity news when there's nothing going on and you're waiting outside of somebody's house to photograph them? I mean is them opening the door news? Where is the news there exactly? EVENSTAD: Well, the way you make -- the way we make money is with a story, with a new boyfriend or a new girlfriend, when someone is getting married, when someone has a baby. And that is news. And...
KIMMEL: So if there is a big celebrity, you wouldn't just choose their house and sit outside their house and wait for something to happen?
EVENSTAD: That happens, also. Yes. And believe it or not, Ben Affleck walking down the street with a Starbuck's cup of coffee in his hand is -- it will be in celebrity news magazines, in my opinion, therefore making it celebrity news.
KIMMEL: Now, Peter, you -- you were sued by Jennifer Aniston.
Why -- why did she sue you?
BRANDT: Well, I -- I shot pictures of her topless. But that's not what I was there for. And I'm actually...
KIMMEL: Where were you when you say you weren't -- when you were there?
BRANDT: I was on a public street across the -- maybe a couple of hundred yards away...
BRANDT: ... outside.
KIMMEL: ... her backyard?
BRANDT: ... of her backyard of her home. Really, what I was there for was to take pictures of Vince and her together and her walking out topless is not what I expected.
KIMMEL: You must have been devastated when those topless photos...
BRANDT: Well, no...
KIMMEL: ... when you had to snap them.
BRANDT: But, really, I didn't expect it and they're very hard to sell, as what happened to me. She sued me and I'm not allowed to talk about the case. But I really didn't do anything illegal.
KIMMEL: You didn't do anything illegal, but do you think that -- I mean from a human standpoint, if somebody goes out in their backyard, don't -- doesn't it feel like they deserve some privacy, even if they are a celebrity?
BRANDT: Well, let me ask you this, Jimmy. If -- would your girlfriend go out there, expose herself for neighbors to see?
I mean I...
KIMMEL: Maybe not, but I would.
BRANDT: I've asked a lot of other women...
KIMMEL: And I'll tell you something...
BRANDT: And they say no, they wouldn't do that.
KIMMEL: And I know that there would be no market for these photographs, but many a time I'll run out with the garbage in my underpants. I've been -- I mean I would do something like that if I was in my backyard. I would not expect that somebody was pointing a camera at me.
BRANDT: But she was in plain sight for all the neighbors. And if a kid had a binoculars -- because that's the size of the lens that I was using, the same perspective -- they would see her just as plain as anybody else would.
KIMMEL: Howard, have you had a situation where your client has been photographed in what they thought was the privacy of their home?
BRAGMAN: Oh, absolutely. I mean the wall is down now, the wall between public and private is down. The -- it's not just -- we're not just talking about the cameras, we're talking about listening devices now. We're talking about police scanners. We're talking about stuff the CIA has and paparazzi have. And those are the two people that have it, stuff that, in a lot of cases, is illegal, too.
KIMMEL: Do you guys use that sort of thing, listening devices, etc.?
BRANDT: No, I don't.
KIMMEL: Do you know people that do?
BRANDT: Not that I know of. No.
EVENSTAD: There was a case of Tom Cruise having his -- one of his phone conversations taped. That was years ago.
KIMMEL: Yes, but are there people working now that you know -- I'm sure you know all these other guys you work with...
EVENSTAD: No. No.
KIMMEL: ... that do that sort of thing?
EVENSTAD: Absolutely not.
BRAGMAN: Oh, come on. EVENSTAD: No.
BRAGMAN: Give me a break.
KIMMEL: All right. Well, we're going to -- we're going to take a break, actually. And we'll talk more about this -- I don't know if you have anyone on your side, hey?
I mean I suppose that because we buy these magazines, we are, in a way, responsible for this. But we're going to talk about some stars that are -- that actually work with the paparazzi and make money from these photos that seem to be embarrassing, etc.
That story when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CHASING ANGELINA")
EVENSTAD: Frank got a tip that there's this kind of store opening and Jennifer Aniston is supposed to be there. And if she shows up with Vince, that's all the -- all the more better for us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," NOVEMBER 2005)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I mean, come on. It's starting to get really dangerous and -- just for everybody, for people.
LARRY KING, HOST: What is it? They chase you -- they chase you in a car?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just -- they chase you in cars, they'll run red lights, they drive on sidewalks. There are people. There's people and, you know...
KING: And what do they want?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just want...
KING: A picture?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: ... a photograph so they can make a buck.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Jimmy Kimmel in for Larry.
Our topic is paparazzi -- do they go too far?
Joining us now here in Los Angeles, high profile attorney Mark Geragos. His clients have included Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder. He knows all about dealing with the paparazzi.
And in New York, John Cook. He's the senior writer for "Radar" magazine. He reports that some stars are not only cooperating with the paparazzi, they're making money from the whole deal, too.
JOHN COOK, "RADAR" MAGAZINE: Yes. Plenty of paparazzi agencies will tell you about stars that will come to them and tip them off to, you know, I'm going to be at such and such a place with so and so tomorrow and ask for $10,000, $15,000 up front. And these photos can go for, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars. So...
KIMMEL: Who has done this? Anyone you know? You're reporting -- can you name names here?
COOK: One story that I was told was that Denise Richards -- and I should say that her representatives deny it. But Denise Richards, when she started dating Richie Sambora, which was news at the time, she arranged with a agency to show up with Richie Sambora at a prearranged place in exchange for $100,000, which sounds like an enormous amount of money, but a lot of photo editors that I talked to said that at the time, the photos of Richie Sambora and Denise Richardson together would -- would go for much more than $100,000.
KIMMEL: And, again, we have no way of knowing whether this actually happened or not, and I'm sure, of course, that Denise denies it.
KIMMEL: Now, Mark, you've represented a number of celebrities. And, in fact, Winona Ryder had her arm broken when...
MARK GERAGOS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Walking into the...
KIMMEL: ... by a photographer.
GERAGOS: ... Beverly Hills courthouse and they kind of swarmed. The next thing you know, she had her arm bashed by a camera and we took her to the hospital and it was broken getting into the courthouse. So you never know what can happen to you.
KIMMEL: It usually goes the other way in that you see celebrity -- you see paparazzi essentially throwing themselves in front of the vehicles of celebrities and almost, it seems, sometimes, like guys want to get punched in the mouth.
Have you ever had a physical confrontation, either one of you, with a celebrity?
BRANDT: Well, Sean Penn tried to punch me out because when Madonna and her were together, they were jogging down the street and I was taking pictures of them just jogging.
But really, they're -- these people, one thing we have to remember is celebrities are royals to us, just like in England where royalty has been around for hundreds of years and they've always been gossip.
And to us, these people, we idolize these people.
KIMMEL: Well, that's comforting knowing that your people killed Princess Di, when you're saying that the royals...
BRANDT: Our people?
Well, I didn't.
KIMMEL: Well, the group of paparazzi. You didn't but...
BRANDT: But there is the aggressive group, there's no doubt about that.
KIMMEL: You're not a part of that group?
BRANDT: No, I'm from, I guess, the old school paparazzi, where I work on my own. I don't have any other photographers and I try to get candid images. That's the idea. Like Ben was saying, I am a photojournalist. I have a degree in photography and I enjoy the hunt. I really do.
KIMMEL: You do? You enjoy it?
Ben, you enjoy it, as well?
EVENSTAD: I do enjoy it.
And just to go back for a second to what Mark was saying, when Winona Ryder was in court for that case, there was a number of what you would call mainstream photographers, A.P. and Reuters and different hard news, newspapers, that were also there. And, in fact, if I remember, there was actually very few celebrity paparazzi that were covering that at the courthouse.
GERAGOS: Well, actually, what the problem is, is you're right about the mainstream. But the problem is that the lowest common denominator has kind of pulled everybody down to it.
KIMMEL: John, you say that -- that some of these companies are hiring gang bangers, ex-cons, other folks like that to take pictures for them.
COOK: It's true. They're -- the agencies like X17 is a very prominent one. JFX Direct is an agency that was actually founded by a former gang member, a Filipino gang member, in L.A. And he founded the agency sort of, in his eyes, as a way to -- to get out of the gang life and to find other former gang members and sort of bring them off the streets and put a camera in their hand.
The technology of cameras these days, you know, you don't need to -- there's no art to it anymore. You just hand someone a very expensive digital camera and all they need to do is click a button. So X17 hires a lot of former gang members, a lot of illegal immigrants from Brazil come up, and many of them don't speak English. And they just follow starlets around all day and sometimes get very aggressive with them because they know that if they get a reaction out of a Britney Spears, for instance, they're going to get more -- more money for the photograph.
And there's even a program in the state of California where if you hire someone who was released from jail in the last year, you can get tax breaks. And our sources tell us that JFX and other paparazzi agencies actually take advantage of that.
BRAGMAN: I want to take exception to something that was said, and that was that celebrities are royals. In my mind, celebrities are people and they take their kids to the doctor and they take their kids to school and they go to drugstores and buy things we don't want to talk about. And they have to do every mundane thing that the rest of us have to do.
And that's where it's really crossing the line for me, when somebody's privacy is truly invaded. Because nobody wants a camera in their face 24 hours a day. And that's what we're asking these people to live with. And it may be legal, but is it moral is the bigger question?
COOK: But they do...
COOK: They do want a camera in their face when it suits them. I mean a lot of people...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely.
COOK: A lot of the people that -- that are now, you know, complaining very vocally -- and they have some certainly valid complaints about the paparazzi -- years ago, when they were coming up were -- I mean Angelina Jolie is one who is known for having set up shots, tipped off the paparazzi of where she was going to be when she was getting divorced from Billy Bob Thornton. She had an image that she wanted to put out there.
And she used the paparazzi to get that image out there. Salop take umbrage when then -- Brad Pitt is another one who, you know, there was a time when he loved the paparazzi and wanted to get his image out there. And now he doesn't.
So you do have to take into account the fact that, you know, some of these people want private lives now, but -- but years ago when they were coming up, were perfectly happy...
GERAGOS: Yes, but there's...
COOK: ... to be photographed.
GERAGOS: There's a -- there's a big distinction between somebody who wants to get out there and make their career, number one, who wants to be photographed, and somebody who is photographed in intrusive ways or has their privacy violated. And that, I think, is what the real problem is.
Just because somebody wants to use their -- their image for whatever particular purpose, I don't think means that they have to sacrifice their privacy and their personal...
COOK: But you can't have it both ways, either.
KIMMEL: Are the stars asking for it? Can they have it both ways? And what legal protection do they have from the paparazzi?
We'll get answers when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CHASING ANGELINA")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not a fascination. It's long, long since past fascination. We are celebrity drenched and obsessed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They create a monster, the press and publicity. Then they try and cage the beast. They'll do anything to get a picture published or appear in the news. They'll literally cartwheel down Sunset Boulevard in their underpants.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then when they're successful and they try and cage the monster, they try and control it, they can't.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, hey, hey, hey, relax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "DIRT," COURTESY FX)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were together. You know, they look hot together.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a rumor he screwed her on the movie.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir, what did you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don't believe it. I don't believe it. But I can find out definitively if you want to know.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you talking about?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That way maybe you can give me a little piece of gossip, or a big one. And that way I could help you get your career out of the toilet. (ACTOR PUNCHES UNIDENTIFIED MAN)
COURTNEY COX: That's good work, Don.
That's great work. I want to see that footage first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: That's Courtney Cox from her show "Dirt" on FX.
Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE.
I'm Jimmy Kimmel in for Larry.
And we're looking at what the paparazzi, what they do. Most celebrities hate them, but could they really live without them?
Up next, who has the real power in this game, the celebrities or the guys with the cameras snapping at them?
Now, Ben, how much money did you get for that picture of Britney Spears without her underwear on?
I don't want to say exactly how much money.
KIMMEL: Was it a lot?
EVENSTAD: It's -- a lot of money, yes.
KIMMEL: It was a lot of money?
And your grandmother is watching in Wisconsin tonight.
EVENSTAD: She is.
KIMMEL: And she must have been very proud.
EVENSTAD: They're all very proud of me, yes.
KIMMEL: John Cook is in New York right now. He writes for "Radar" magazine. He's working on a big story and one of the -- one of the things you talk about, John, in the story that you have coming out, I believe in June, is Britney Spears. And Britney has a unique say of managing the paparazzi.
COOK: Well, there's this funny story that someone told me, a paparazzi told me about Britney Spears back, again, before -- you know, right now, she's avoiding them and complaining about them.
But back when she was using them, she would drive out of her house in the morning and she would have 16 paparazzi following her. And she knew they were following her. And she would go to Starbuck's and then walk out of Starbuck's with 16 cups of coffee and hand them out and say OK, guys, here's where I'm going to be today and plan out her day, and say I'd like you, you know, you can take pictures here and here and here, but I'd like some privacy here.
KIMMEL: Howard, you -- when you represent a celebrity, do you cut deals with the paparazzi, say, hey, listen, we'll give you this, you can have this, leave us alone here?
BRAGMAN: I don't cut the deals with the paparazzis. I don't want to go in the swamp. I -- there are certain moments that I know are going to be photographed and we prepare for that.
I guess I want to ask these guys what is the line? What is public and private to you guys?
I know what it is for me and my clients, but for you guys, what won't you shoot? What is too private?
KIMMEL: Peter, you can go ahead (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
BRANDT: Well, the line is -- is not drawn by us. Society tells us what we can do or can't do. For me, my line goes up if I've got to find the truth about maybe something that you guys don't tell the truth about.
I think we're the watchdogs of the people who don't -- who do lie about other celebrities.
KIMMEL: But these things that if...
BRANDT: And that's just the way it is.
KIMMEL: ... if there are, indeed, lies, I mean aren't they so trivial? I mean -- I mean who really cares...
BRANDT: Well, there's a celebrity business. You know, people -- regular people who read these magazines -- and they are millions of them -- like to know about their celebrities because they're -- they are human. Celebrities are human, like us. And they want to know, do they divorce? Do they marry? Do they have affairs, just like everybody else?
And it kind of...
GERAGOS: And real jurors (ph) have lines (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
BRANDT: And it kind of even makes them feel better about themselves. So, believe it or not, we actually do a service and help people feel good about themselves by following the celebrities and showing the public what they want to see.
BRAGMAN: It's a service.
BRANDT: We don't dictate it. BRAGMAN: Didn't you buy the paparazzi cookies outside the -- outside the Vaughn's the other day? I mean...
KIMMEL: Well, I think...
GERAGOS: I don't know that I could have lived without seeing Britney Spears' private parts, and that was quite a service that was done there.
And when you ask where is the line that was drawn, obviously there is no line. I mean there is absolutely no line.
KIMMEL: Well, I think the line would be actually staking out, say, a celebrities fallopian tubes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No...
COOK: I would love...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've seen Katie's insides already.
COOK: I would love...
KIMMEL: Yes, John?
COOK: I would love to see some of the effort that -- that these guys put into finding and tracking down and hunting down celebrities, I would love to see some of that effort put into stories of more significance. I mean some of these guys are geniuses and the methods that they use to -- to find out the things they want to find out, they're very, in many ways, good reporters. A lot of that is because they pay sources.
But I would love to see some of the effort put into getting these shots put into, you know, stories of more consequence.
KIMMEL: Ben, you're a young guy.
Do you plan to do this? Is this something you want to do for the rest of your life?
EVENSTAD: Well, I don't know...
KIMMEL: Or do you feel like there's something more important you could be doing, I mean, using the same skills?
EVENSTAD: You know, we -- we take this very seriously. And it is, you know, a lot of times following Britney Spears...
KIMMEL: How seriously can you take shooting Britney Spears' crotch?
EVENSTAD: It's -- it's a big business...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of thousands of dollars.
EVENSTAD: ... and we make a lot of money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
EVENSTAD: And we act professionally and we, you know, do provide that service.
KIMMEL: Well. Right.
EVENSTAD: We provide pictures for those magazines.
KIMMEL: You may act professionally...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of us do, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
KIMMEL: And Peter may act professionally, although I don't -- I don't know about either one of you.
You've been arrested a couple of times, right, Peter?
BRANDT: Well, I've been arrested, but I've never been charged with anything because things I do are not illegal. So I've never been...
KIMMEL: But are they immoral?
BRANDT: Well, what's immoral?
I mean I just -- I just won a case...
BRANDT: ... in Canada where Brad Pitt's production company had me arrested and thrown in jail. And I had the case tried and they lost.
KIMMEL: For what?
BRANDT: For trespassing, for taking pictures. I had every right to be there. Now, I have a counter-suit against Brad Pitt's production company, which I will easily win, for putting me for false arrest.
So I have been in jail for -- for not reasons that I believe that I should have been there. And I have never been charged on any crime ever.
KIMMEL: Yes, well, I don't -- I don't know the details of that story or anything about it, obviously. But you've not been -- you've never been charged?
BRANDT: Never been charged ever.
KIMMEL: Ben, have you?
EVENSTAD: Never. No. Never been arrested.
KIMMEL: But you've certainly seen some of these characters that John was talking about, the guys that -- that are there, guys that are...
EVENSTAD: Yes. There is the type today that are really trying to make an image -- or not make a -- trying to get celebrities to react to something they do badly just to get a photograph. That's not something I would do, but that is happening. There is no doubt about that.
KIMMEL: Up next, can our paparazzi imagine taking a celebrity photo that nobody would touch?
That and more when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "CHASING ANGELINA")
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A couple of the guys were doing the stakeout at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's house in Malibu and apparently Jolie is on the move.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "LARRY KING LIVE," DECEMBER, 2006)
KING: How do you handle the tabloids?
ANGELINA JOLIE, ACTRESS: I ignore them.
KING: I ignore them?
In other words, a headline about Angelina Jolie, you don't read it? JOLIE: No.
KING: How can you walk right by? JOLIE: I don't go to those places. I -- you know, I get newspapers at the hotel or my house delivered and I don't -- I don't go to newsstands and, you know -- it's actually not that hard to avoid. I don't watch those channels on TV. I just don't.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE," I'm Jimmy Kimmel. Not only am I wearing Larry's suspenders, tonight, by the way, I'm also wearing his pants. I just want to fill you in on what's going on below the desk.
The topic tonight, do the paparazzi go too far? My guest, the top paparazzo photographer, Ben Evanstad, veteran celebrity photographer Peter Brent, legendary publicist Howard Bragman and high- profile attorney Mark Geragos. And now Ryan Smith joins us. Ryan is a reporter for "OK" magazine.
RYAN SMITH, REPORTER, "OK" MAGAZINE: Hello, good evening.
KIMMEL: Ryan, do you pay celebrities for information, photographs, et cetera?
SMITH: I wouldn't so much say that. These celebrities are people who have a lot of money already. I mean they're people, you know, who money is clearly not...
KIMMEL: I know that but that's not -- I mean obviously they have money. But do you ever write a check for -- does your magazine write checks for stories and for photographs?
SMITH: I would say, again, that celebrities often come to "OK!" magazine because of the fact they do. They enjoy the spreads. They would like to be in a magazine where they see glossy, glamorous pictures.
KIMMEL: Is it really that big of a deal because I thought magazines -- I mean it's not like we're talking about the news here.
SMITH: Right, but I mean it's known that some of these things do often happen. I'm saying in this situation and with "OK!" magazine, we are a magazine that's known, you know, as a magazine that celebrities love to come to because they like the way -- you know they like the outcome.
KIMMEL: But between us, you sometimes pay these people, right?
SMITH: Not personally, no.
KIMMEL: Not personally, but the magazine does?
MARK GERAGOS, HIGH-PROFILE ATTORNEY: "OK!" magazine does.
KIMMEL: Do you know that for sure?
GERAGOS: I do know that.
KIMMEL: All of the magazines pay for photographs from time to time, right?
HOWARD BRAGMAN, PUBLICIST: Most of them.
KIMMEL: Most of them. Which ones don't?
BRAGMAN: "Time" and "Newsweek."
KIMMEL: OK, well, I don't count them really in the same category, I guess, but I see. The celebrity news, the tabloids, celebrity news magazines will pay people from time to time. And how does that work with you guys, photographers? Is that a time where you and the celebrity are working together to make some money?
PETER BRANDT, VETERAN CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER: That's probably -- it hasn't happened for me but...
KIMMEL: Has it happened for you, Ben?
BEN EVENSTAD, PAPARAZZO: No, they usually go to -- have their own photographer, like Gwyneth Paltrow, when she had her first baby. She had her own photographer take the photos and then she let him sell it. But you know it was a controlled situation.
KIMMEL: A controlled situation.
Now, Mark, is this something that -- have you been on the other side? Have you negotiated anything like that?
GERAGOS: I've been in situations where front-line news outlets will pay. And they will pay -- they may not say they're paying for the picture. They'll pay for a story. They'll pay for a book excerpt. There's various ways to do it.
KIMMEL: Who makes the deal in that situation, the lawyer?
GERAGOS: The lawyer will make the deal with somebody who represents the media company. It may not be the magazine per se. It may be a parent of a company, maybe a representative of that company or a go-between, but it's done with great frequency.
KIMMEL: You represented Michael Jackson.
GERAGOS: I did.
KIMMEL: How weird is he on a scale of one to 10?
GERAGOS: Michael is nowhere near as weird as his image is. I'll go that far.
KIMMEL: All right, so you say a seven then?
GERAGOS: Michael is misunderstand. I'll leave it at that.
KIMMEL: You guys...
BRANDT: That's a good point because imagery, that's what this all about. Imagery, what Mark is talking about. These people, celebrities, are in show business and they have a persona they want to put out. And we're here to make sure where we get them -- where they don't have that look where they want to be. There's nobody wrong with that.
KIMMEL: When you were a young boy, did you daydream of one day camping out in the dumpster behind Nicole Richie's apartment?
BRANDT: I think so.
KIMMEL: You did?
BRANDT: I did.
KIMMEL: Because dreams come true.
BRANDT: When I was 5-years-old I went to a fire and I said, "God, I really want to document those kinds of things." And I did. I worked for "The Los Angeles Times" and "The Washington Post."
You were asking earlier, Ben, about can he do something better. Well, I did that side and I've seen a lot of death and I've seen a lot of tragedy. And I didn't want to do that anymore. This thing is fluff-puff to what I do now.
KIMMEL: I see. All right, well, we're going to talk about the Internet when we come back because maybe is what has fuelled the sudden up-surge, it seems to me, in interest in this sort of thing and how you make money. Now everybody is a paparazzi photographer. People have cell phones, et cetera. We're going to check.
Up next, we'll talk about the Internet's impact on the old star- chasing game with the editor of a website that infuriates celebrities like George Clooney and even me. She'll join us when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is celebrity coverage spinning out of control?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gentlemen, hey, hey, hey!
KEN SUNSHINE, PUBLICIST: We've never had so much media that it seems to be desirous of printing or covering every possible aspect of so-called celebrities' lives. I think the world has gone a little crazy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Forget to be or not to be, this was to be the question...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is this a haircut or a cry for help?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hair, a way to blow off steam or a serious cry for help?
MOOS: Some say Britney lost her mind to an army of press. Maybe only her hairdresser knows for sure. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think maybe she's overwhelmed with all of the paparazzi. Oh, my God, it was crazy. We locked the doors and we tried to close the curtains, but they would have charged in there if the door was unlocked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE, I'm Jimmy Kimmel in for Larry.
We're talking about the paparazzi, thank you. Do they go too far? Are they stalking celebrities? We have two photographers, a lawyer and a publicist here tonight. And joining us from New York, a woman who is actually changing this game dramatically, Emily Gould. She's the editor of the website Gawker.com.
EMILY GOULD, EDITOR, GAWKER.COM: Hi, Jimmy.
KIMMEL: You look like a very pleasant woman and...
GOULD: I am a very pleasant woman.
KIMMEL: Tell everyone what you do and what goes on on your website. GOULD: Well, I think that maybe the issue that you have might be with our Gawker Stalker Map, am I right?
KIMMEL: Well, yes, I mean I think that's -- well explain what that is exactly.
GOULD: The Gawker Stalker Map tells you where celebrities have been sighted in New York City at any given time so you can sort of scroll around and see, you know, Jude Law was shopping for condoms at the Duane Reid in midtown or you know...
KIMMEL: So people are out and they have their cell phones and they can send a message to you and say, "I just saw Gwyneth Paltrow at the movies" and that way when Gwyneth Paltrow comes out of the movies, there would be at least a dozen psychopaths waiting for her.
GOULD: That's actually a popular misconception about the way the Stalker Map works. It doesn't happen in real time. I think that's why George Clooney got so upset because he thought that we were actually...
KIMMEL: How much of a delay is there when you say...
GOULD: Sometimes there's a couple of hours that lapse between...
GOULD: ...stalking -- it's not actual stalking. KIMMEL: What is the shortest delay that you'll have? I mean is it sometimes -- can it be 15 minutes after they see a celebrity?
GOULD: It can be but it's rare, really rare.
BRAGMAN: I've had my clients in five-minute delays. I had them in a store going, "These assholes." Are we allowed to say that word?
KIMMEL: I don't know.
GERAGOS: There'll be a time -- I will predict that there will come a time one of his clients has spotted some psychopath, as you say, does something and somebody will sue this website and make a fortune for being in the chain and for being foreseeable for putting somebody out there and putting them at risk.
KIMMEL: Well, I mean you can't...
GOULD: Well, we've been doing it four years and it hasn't happened yet.
GERAGOS: I will venture so far to say that it will be only a matter of time before it does happen.
KIMMEL: In your opinion, of course.
BRAGMAN: Celebrities have been stalked and celebrities have been murdered and it does happen. It happens a lot more than we even talk about or is it reported.
KIMMEL: And this is a way to alert people that might be interested in a particular celebrity.
My problem is you post things that simply aren't true on the site and you do no checking on your stories whatsoever. I'll give you an example. There was a story about me that popped up on my Google search. It said "Daily Gawker Stalker, when isn't Jimmy Kimmel visibly intoxicated?" And there's a story about me being visibly intoxicated. I know it may be funny to you but I didn't find it that amusing.
KIMMEL: And a matter of fact, the story that talks about me being drunk, I was coming home with my cousin's -- my cousin's 1-year- old birthday party with my elderly aunt and uncle and my kids and my cousins and I was -- I may have been loud but I was far from intoxicated and you put these things on there. I mean I know you're an editor. What exactly are you editing from the website?
GOULD: There's a whole other aspect of our website that doesn't have anything to do with the Stalker Map. But what the Stalker Map is citizen journalism. People don't read with the expectation that every word of it will be gospel. Everyone who reads it knows that it isn't checked at all.
GOULD: What they read it for is immediacy.
KIMMEL: I don't think that's necessarily true.
GOULD: You don't unfilter sort of the way people that perceive celebrities in real time that you don't get from any other media. And that's what I think is great about it.
KIMMEL: Well, I mean you also get what is essentially slanderous statements or libelous statements put on your website. For instance, today I noticed there was something about Kevin Costner. I went on to see what was there today. It said how fat Kevin Costner was and it had a picture of Jabba the Hutt next to him. Now, I know you sell advertising. I don't know why anybody would buy advertising on a website. But I don't know what the point of something like that is.
BRAGMAN: There's also a big contradiction. She said citizen journalism. She used the word "journalism" and then said, "Everybody knows not everything is true." Most journalists at least try for the truth. It's a goal.
GOULD: I mean do you read "US Weekly" and expect that everything in it is true or "Star."
BRAGMAN: I expect that they try. I get calls from them fact checking and I don't from your website.
GERAGOS: That's absolutely true. "US Weekly" at least has a legal department that vets things.
KIMMEL: And our photographers at least are taking photographs of things that are happening, as opposed to -- I mean I'd just want you to think about your life and...
KIMMEL: ...weigh your options. And I mean because I would hate to see you arriving in hell and somebody sending a text message saying, "Guess who's here?" You know what I'm saying?
GOULD: Honestly, I think that there's a shifting definition of what is public and what is private space for everyone not just celebrities. The Internet, blogs, MySpace, no one has the reasonable expectation of being able to walk around the street and not being noticed by someone.
KIMMEL: Well, that is just a terrible thing, though, isn't it? I mean...
GOULD: Is it really? I mean I think it's great that we're not putting people up on a pedestal and worshipping them anymore. I think it's that good people are acknowledging celebrities are real people.
KIMME: But you're throwing rocks at them, though. I mean it seems to me that...
GOULD: Aren't they kind of protected by piles of money from those rocks?
KIMMEL: No, no. And by the way, not all celebrities are wealthy. I mean you know that's a silly and stupid thing to say, you know that. Come on now, just because people have money means it's OK to say false things about them, to tear them down?
GOULD: It's not OK to say false things about anyone.
KIMMEL: Well, you should check your website then.
Thank you for talking to us.
When we come back, more on the blogs and the Internet fuelling this paparazzi frenzy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LEONARDO DICAPRIO, ACTOR: I look at those magazines on occasion myself. I laugh at them. They're funny. I think it's all in the grand circle of people wanting to say that we are all the same or look at that person messing up, look at that funny photo, ha, ha, ha. You know for me it's like -- like I said, there's so many worse problems in the world.
ASHTON KUTCHER, ACTOR: For the most part, they're like scavengers, man. It's the publications that support it and that pay these people outrageous amounts of money for photographs of people in their private moments.
NICOLE KIDMAN, ACTRESS: I mean you're going to be photographed. It's going to be interesting for as long as you're famous, right? But I do believe that there is a line that once you cross it, it becomes proactive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE, I am your guest host, Jimmy Kimmel.
As we look at just how the paparazzi goes about getting pictures of celebrities, do they do too far? Joining us now from Palm Springs is Reichen Lemkuhl. Reichen is the ex-boyfriend of Lance Bass.
How are you, Reichen?
REICHEN LEHMKUHL, EX-BOYFRIEND OF LANCE BASS: I'm doing well, thanks.
KIMMEL: I've never seen you with a shirt on. This is unbelievable.
LEHMKUHL: That's a lie. That's ridiculous.
KIMMEL: I'm just kidding. Reichen, you were with Lance Bass and your relationship is what really forced him to come out of the closet. People noticed that the two of you were together and -- well, tell us what happened exactly.
LEHMKUHL: Well, I mean I have my own perspective as to what happened. You know I don't really talk about the relationship because...
KIMMEL: Yes, but as far as him being pressured, I mean feeling like if he didn't come forward with his sexuality that someone else would.
LEHMKUHL: Well, there was a lot of pressure that came down. I mean I remember the first time that I remember being noticed being with him was we were on an airplane flying somewhere and one of the flight attendants noticed and put two and two together and knew exactly who each of us were.
And the next thing we knew, we read it in a New York newspaper column, a gossip column that we were together and then everyone else latched on. And from there, that's when it became a story and more and more media outlets, including Internet people, photographers, started to kind of close in around find out what the real story was.
KIMMEL: So you went from really never having dealt with this before to suddenly being surrounded by reporters and paparazzi and all of that?
LEHMKUHL: Yes. This was a lot different from reality TV for sure, yes.
KIMMEL: Right. And you have a problem, I know, in particular with Parez Hilton who runs a website on which he -- well, he says all sorts of things about all sorts of people. And there's almost a war between the two of you.
LEHMKUHL: Well, I mean that's not a war I would even waste any energy fighting. It's just -- you know there are people out there who are going to write things that are not true. I mean we were just talking with this woman Emily; obviously, you let her know that she had no point and that she did not know what she was talking about. And it was really obvious because I completely relate to that. There have been so many times where things have been written about me in relation to my relationship that became very public and it just simply wasn't true. And yes, that's something that upsets me.
KIMMEL: Mark Geragos is with us.
LEHMKUHL: But it might not upset someone else.
LEHMKUHL: I mean I'm not like a...
KIMMEL: Excuse me, Reichen.
Mark, you were a lawyer. And there are now, I think, like 5 million lawyers here in the United States. And by the way, it's a good move going on next to the paparazzi. That's the only time a lawyer can actually look good, but why -- I mean why heard about people suing websites? I mean if you go on Perez Hilton's website, I mean some of the things he writes about people, I mean, are absolutely outrageous.
GERAGOS: Because most of them don't have deep pockets. I mean it's as simple as that. The lawyers who are going to do it are going to generally do it on a contingency. And if these websites fold up and then reappear later on somewhere else...
KIMMEL: Yes, but if John Travolta sees a photograph of himself and the word "homo" is written across it, which is something is or was on the website, I mean what...
GERAGOS: Because the websites generally will just fold up and then they morph into somebody else. I mean the idea of this woman that you had on with Gawker Stalker or whatever it is, the first time she gets sued and somebody gets a judgment, she's going to fold up ship and then she'll reappear somewhere else as a different website or a different entity. The fact they don't have deep pockets is the big problem.
KIMMEL: Thank you, Reichen from Palm Springs.
Up next, the million dollar question for our two paparazzi photographers when LARRY KING LIVE returns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LARRY KING, HOST: Are they generally inaccurate about you?
GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR; Sometimes. Look, you've had a lot of people on who go, "It's all lies." You know they'll get some things right and they'll get some things wrong. There's never been a day in my life ever since I got famous that I won't read something on my Blackberry or get a note or something that's completely false. There's never been a day, but you can't defend all of those because you'll be a jerk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE")
KIMMEL, Paris Hilton had a rare, fortunate run-in with the paparazzi Sunday. She has a $200,000 Bentley and she doesn't know to put gas on it. It ran out of gas and the photographers following her stepped up to help their damsel in distress.
PARIS HILTON, HEIRESS: Dude, I have never put gas in this car, and I forgot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go over to the side of the road.
HILTON: Thank you. How much is gas? Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it in the back? Is it behind the license plate?
HILTON: I just pressed the thing. I mean look on the side, right? Is there a gas thingy?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here's your change, by the way.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's on the back right hand side.
HILTON: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're welcome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KIMMEL: I love that dude.
Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE. I'm Jimmy Kimmel in for Larry who is whale hunting in Alaska now.
We're asking whether paparazzi photographers are ready for their close-up and it turns out that actually they are.
Now, I want to ask just quick, the million dollar question, as we call it, for Ben and Peter. If you got a genie in a lamp and he's going to grant you one wish, what celebrity do you want to get a picture of and what are they doing?
EVENSTAD: Boy, Prince William dating Nicole Kidman, the first picture of them kissing.
BRANDT: Michael Jackson getting married would be very good.
KIMMEL: To Macaulay Culkin?
BRANDT: Well, whoever.
KIMMEL: And Mark, would you officiate at that particular ceremony? No, all right. I think we actually have a telephone call. And I hope I'm not in trouble but the great Larry King is on the telephone.
Bethesda, Maryland, you're on the air.
KING: Stop it!
KIMMEL: I've always wanted to do that. Larry, where are you right now? KING: I'm in San Francisco. In fact, at this second, I'm looking at the Bay Bridge, the eight-mile-long bridge that goes from San Francisco to Oakland. I had a great couple of days here. Wind up tomorrow, taking my boys to the Dodger/Giant game and then heading home for the Dodgers season opener on Monday. You did a great job. I watched the first half hour.
KIMMEL: I want to thank you.
KING: ...restaurant and having a good time. And I think, jimmy, you have got a future doing this.
KIMMEL: Well, thank you.
KING: And you ought to think about being one of our major replacements.
KIMMEL: Well, I appreciate you letting me do it and I had a lot of fun here. We were being kind of serious for a little while. But thanks again, Larry, and I promise...
KING: Hold on, hold on, hold on, listen to this.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Larry, get back to dinner!
KING: Guess who, Jimmy.
KIMMEL: One of the wives. All right...
KING: Thanks a lot, Jimmy.
KIMMEL: Thanks, Larry, take care.
KING: Keep the day job.
KIMMEL: All right, I'm on at night. He doesn't know. What are you going to do?
All right, well, I guess that's it. The show is over, right? Is there a band or anything? I don't know how it wraps up. I guess I should thank our guests, Mark Geragos, who was not very forthcoming about Michael Jackson but many in another hour we'll explore that lunatic; Howard Bragman. Howard again is a publicist. If you're a celebrity who is in trouble and perhaps you have these two characters chasing you around and photographing you topless or maybe they're right there under your dress. Again, I want to thank Peter Brandt and Ben -- Ben I'm sorry, Ben Evanstad. And best wishes to Ben's grandmother who is watching in the state of Wisconsin and I'm sure is very, very proud on this Passover evening of her young boy.
All right, well, there you go. That's LARRY KING LIVE. Thanks for watching and again, thanks to the staff here and thanks to Larry for allowing me to fill in for me.
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