When Keanu Reeves encountered a paparazzo on a dark street last year, neither man exchanged a word. They knew their roles and they got right to them. The photographer illuminated his flash and began snapping away. The movie star hid his face and ducked into his car.
What happened next led them today to a courtroom where words were all they had.
"To my recollection, I didn't hit him," Reeves told a Superior Court jury.
"The car hit me, and I went backward," the photographer, Alison Silva, countered.
The men were the first witnesses in a civil suit brought against the actor by Silva. The photographer, a 28-year-old Brazilian, claims Reeves, 44, struck him in the knee with the bumper of his Porsche as he took pictures. Silva claims he suffered a career-ending wrist fracture. His attorney estimates his past and future medical bills at $140,000.
Reeves' lawyers have said that Silva was not hurt at all and the wrist fracture was an old soccer injury. In court papers, the actor's lawyers have said the paparazzo was desperate for cash because his car had been repossessed. They contend he saw the confrontation with the actor as a way to make money.
Both sides agree that Silva followed Reeves to a medical facility in Rancho Palos Verdes on the evening of March 19, 2007. When the actor emerged from an hourlong visit with a relative, Silva approached and began photographing him.
(Read Harriet's whole story here).