Taylor Swift’s father accused of punching photographer in the face in Sydney

27 February 2024, 09:24

Taylor Swift
Australia Taylor Swift. Picture: PA

Ben McDonald said he decided to report the alleged assault by Scott Swift to New South Wales Police despite not being seriously hurt.

A photographer has told police he was punched in the face by Taylor Swift’s father on the Sydney waterfront on Tuesday, hours after the pop star’s Australian tour ended.

Ben McDonald said he provided officers with a statement alleging that Scott Swift assaulted him at Neutral Bay Wharf, where the father and daughter had just come ashore from a yacht.

The veteran paparazzo said he decided to report the attack to police despite not being seriously injured.

“It was just a punch in the chops. It’s a little tender, but I don’t have any bruising and it didn’t require medical assistance,” he said.

“In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad,” he added.

Taylor Swift’s representative accused members of the media of aggression during the interaction.

“Two individuals were aggressively pushing their way towards Taylor, grabbing at her security personnel, and threatening to throw a female staff member into the water,” they said in an email.

Australia Taylor Swift
Photographer Ben McDonald told Australian police he was punched on the Sydney waterfront by Taylor Swift’s father (Ben McDonald/AP)

The New South Wales Police Force media office confirmed that officers are investigating the alleged assault of a 51-year-old man by a 71-year-old man at 2.30am. Police did not release names, in accordance with their policy for such allegations.

Taylor Swift left the country on a private jet on Tuesday, after more than 600,000 fans saw the Australian leg of her Eras Tour at seven stadium concerts.

McDonald said media had been waiting to photograph the star as she walked with her entourage from a jetty to two waiting cars.

“There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car,” McDonald told the AP.

“Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face. Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father,” McDonald added.

Mr McDonald said he realised his alleged assailant was not a part of the security detail after seeing a photo of him holding Swift’s hand while reviewing photos from the evening. He later identified Scott Swift from an online picture.

The photographer said there had been no cause for violence.

“We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil,” he said.

“But, no, they had to be (expletives) and put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them,” he added.

By Press Association

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