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Kanye West pleads not guilty in assault on paparazzi

Kanye West pleads not guilty in assault on paparazzi

NOT GUILTY: The rapper pleaded not guilty in connection with an alleged assault. Photo: Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rapper Kanye West on Thursday pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from an altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport, a court spokeswoman said.

West, 36, was charged in September with battery and attempted grand theft for the scuffle with photographer Daniel Ramos which took place outside the airport in July.

The rapper’s attorney, Blair Berk, entered the plea on West’s behalf in Los Angeles Superior Court.

A video posted on celebrity news website TMZ of the July incident shows the Grammy-winning rapper glaring at photographers as he leaves the airport. West confronts Ramos and appears to lunge at him.

West attempted to take equipment from Ramos, the Los Angeles City Attorney alleged.

Ramos’ attorney, Gloria Allred, said he is still suffering from injuries sustained in the incident and that she expects the case to go to trial. She said he hurt his hip during the scuffle.

Each misdemeanor charge carries a maximum penalty of six months in prison. The next hearing date in the case is scheduled for Jan. 23 but West is not required to attend.

In August, Ramos filed a civil lawsuit against West, alleging assault, battery and negligence.

West has become a frequent target of paparazzi after striking up a romance last year with reality TV star Kim Kardashian.

The couple’s first child, a baby girl named North West, was born in June, and they are now engaged to marry.

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