Nick Lachey is learning the hard way that actions have consequences!!
Remember that ugly incident he had almost exactly a year ago in which he hounded a female paparazzi photographer in Beverly Hills during a night out with his wife Vanessa Lachey?? You know, the one where Nick confronted a photog, reached into her car, and tried to rip her cell phone out of her hand?!
Well, now he’s getting to the other end of that situation. And he’s going to have ample time to sit down with some experts and figure out why he acted the way he did in that unfortunate exchange!
According to court documents obtained on Tuesday by DailyMail.com, the 49-year-old former boy band star was officially charged with assault and battery months after that aforementioned initial incident. And the only way out of steeper fines and potentially jail time in the matter is if Nick attends 52 weeks of both anger management classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Damn!!!
The celeb photog who was involved in the case is an 18-year veteran of the paparazzi game named Jody Santos. She spoke to the news outlet this week. For one, she is glad Nick finally faced some consequences “after months of hounding” on her part directed at the Beverly Hills Police Department.
The longtime star snapper first recounted her take about that fateful day late last March. She recalled driving up to the popular restaurant Mastro’s Steakhouse in BH. There, she saw the Love Is Blind co-host couple walking out of the restaurant:
“Nick’s not really on the radar. I just saw him and I figured I would get a shot of a couple coming out of a restaurant. I have taken photos of him plenty of times and never had a problem, but this time was different.”
“He flipped me off and then I heard Vanessa say, ‘go get ’em, open the door’ and then he started walking towards my car all aggressive. I immediately locked my door and rolled up my window as fast as I could. He then start punching the window. I thought he was going to break his hand, that’s how hard he was hitting the glass. I am surprised he didn’t shatter the window.”
Shocked at the ex-boy band crooner’s shocking behavior, Santos rolled down her window and asked him:
“Why are you being so mean to me, you used to be so nice? Why did you hit my window?”
But the 98 Degrees singer wasn’t done. Without warning, he came back for more:
“I thought he was walking away. I had no idea he was going to turn around and come back, but that’s what happened. And this time he called me a p***y mother f**ker, shoved his arm through my car window, and tried to grab my cell phone. He couldn’t get it because it was strapped around my neck and I was trying to lean towards the passenger’s side as best I could.”
And just to top it off, Santos shared this apparent closer from Lachey that night:
“I could smell alcohol on his breath for sure. Then he asked me, ‘is paparazzi still a thing?’ And I said, ‘yes that’s why I’m here, I’m a photographer.'”
Even now a year later, the jaw-dropping exchange still resonates with the veteran photographer. She told the news outlet how, looking back, she realizes Jessica Simpson‘s ex-husband “would have knocked me out” had she not thought quickly to roll up the window:
“In all my years of photographing celebrities, no one has ever tried to hit me. I am just relieved that I rolled up my window as fast as I did, otherwise he would have knocked me out. No doubt about it.”
Sadly, a resolution in this case has been a (very) long time in coming. After the initial outburst, Jody filed an official complaint with the BHPD. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office didn’t do much on the matter, though. For months, Jody had to call back the DA again, and again, and again. Then, in late February, she finally got closure when Nick was handed the 52-week anger management and AA demand.
For Santos, those classes are better than nothing. And she doesn’t expect any apology from Lachey, either:
“Until this day, Nick hasn’t taken any responsibility. He’s justified it. He thought this was done, but it’s not done. A personal apology was declined, then a written apology was declined. No one from his team has reached out and asked, ‘are you OK?'”
Then, the photog added:
“He’s had plenty of time to apologize, but instead he just figured I would go away. What he did was wrong. Attempting to bust his fist through my car window when all I was doing was taking photographs of him. He should have been thanking me for the free publicity. I mean, really. Talk about an oversized ego.”
In the end, Santos used the interview as a way to get her side of the story out — even if it’s long after the incident itself. She also had some choice words for the Ohio-born star, who complained of being the victim of a “clickbait” narrative as the paparazzi incident reached the media:
“I want Nick to know that it’s not OK to come after a photographer, let alone a female one and use foul, sexist language. He needs to take accountability for his actions. It’s one thing to be violent towards a woman and call her foul names, and it’s another when you blame the other person and lie about what really happened. He twisted the truth and put the blame on me.”
“Nick won’t be too happy when he gets snapped going to anger management classes. This all could have been avoided if Nick had just taken responsibility for his behavior. He is not above the law and as a father and a public figure, the least he can do is be a decent human being.”
Well said on her part. Sad it all had to come to this tho!
Thoughts, Perezcious readers??
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/Brian To/WENN]