Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bodyguards clash with paparazzi
Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Two paparazzi photographers wearing camouflage gear have clashed with bodyguards for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as the couple worked to finalise a reported $11 million deal for the first official pictures of their new twins

The security chief for the Hollywood stars said the photographers had invaded the grounds of their French estate but the paparazzi claimed they were attacked in a neighbouring public forest.

Both sides have confirmed there was angry fistfight as the snappers tried snatch a picture that could sabotage the exclusive deal following the birth of Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline. Police were called after the altercation.

Tony Webb, who heads security at the 1,235-acre Chateau Miraval estate, said: "We caught the two and tried to escort them off the property, and the guy's just gone berserk, thrashing out, kicking and actually biting one of the security people, breaking his finger, drawing blood and screaming that he had Hepatitis C."

Freelance photographer Luc Goursolas confirmed that he broke one bodyguard's finger and bit another but said he was acting in self defence.

"I threw myself at them, put blood all over them and told them I had HIV so they would stop hitting me," he said.

He and colleague Marianne Saint-Arroman were wearing khaki-coloured camouflage clothing to avoid being seen in the woods. "We weren't going to wear a red sweater," she said.

According to the New York Daily News, a furious Pitt emerged after Thursday's ugly scuffle and told paparazzi: "I'm fed up with my private property being violated. If you want war, you will get it."

His lawyers have threatened legal action against photographers or any media outlets that publish recent pictures that they say were taken by paparazzi of the actor and his family at the estate.

"The family are really fed up that these people are trespassing, so we're going to try to get restraining orders and use the law to do whatever we have to keep them off the property," Mr Webb said.

The American magazine US Weekly has claimed that twins, who were born in hospital on July 12 and whisked into the Miraval estate at night, were conceived by IVF. Jolie and Pitt are negotiating a world record deal for the first pictures of the latest addition to their family and are expected to donate the proceeds to charity.

The couple, known as Brangelina by the tabloids, were not the only Hollywood stars having problems with paparazzi last week.

Halle Berry said pictures of her holding her infant daughter that appeared in celebrity magazine were taken by a photographer who trespassed on her property in Los Angeles.

Evan Spiegel, a lawyer for the Oscar-winning actress, said a criminal complaint has been filed and an investigation is under way. He said there are witnesses who saw the photographers in the middle of a "very blatant and invasive trespass".

In a statement to The Associated Press, Berry said she will never sell pictures of her children.

"I have long since come to terms with the fact that choosing a career as an actress has made me a public figure, but my baby has made no such choice, and unless and until she does, I will do everything I can ... to keep her out of the public eye," the statement read.

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