Taylor Swift’s father Scott Swift accused of assaulting Australian photographer – The Washington Post

An Australian photographer accused Taylor Swift’s father, Scott Swift, of punching him in the face as the pop star and her entourage disembarked a yacht.
New South Wales police said they were investigating a report that a 71-year-old man assaulted a 51-year-old man at a wharf in the Sydney area early Tuesday morning, after Taylor wrapped up her final concert in the city on her worldwide Eras Tour.
“We don’t confirm names of victims and offenders of crimes, but if every other news agency in the world is using those names, you wouldn’t be wrong,” a police statement said, referring to Scott and his accuser, photographer Ben McDonald.
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Australian media published video of the incident, in which Taylor and her father are seen walking toward a car, with the singer hiding her face under an umbrella and her father briefly throwing up his middle finger.
Another video shows photographers flashing pictures of the Swifts as someone instructs: “Go ahead and step away from the vehicle.” Then, an umbrella gets rustled.
“Don’t touch my umbrella,” someone says. “No, you touched my umbrella,” another person replies, before the video falls sideways.
McDonald told Agence France-Presse that a security guard used an umbrella to try to stop him from taking photos, and that an older man then hit him as Taylor entered the car.
“He punched me in the chops,” McDonald said. “It was a shock. That’s never happened to me in 26 years.”
Taylor’s spokesperson Tree Paine sent a statement accusing McDonald and another photographer present of “aggressively pushing their way towards Taylor, grabbing at her security personnel, and threatening to throw a female staff member into the water.”
In an interview, McDonald denied any aggression and noted that he videoed Taylor in another part of Australia a few days prior without any issues.
“I couldn’t see it coming,” McDonald said. “I get the human element of it. He’s [Scott] probably stressed. … They’ve been super busy, the concerts are quite probably exhausting, they’ve gone on a celebration, he’s annoyed because we’ve found out where they are, they’re trying to get her off discreetly and without anyone knowing.”
An apology would’ve been nice, McDonald added, but he’ll be happy with whatever outcome local police decides.
Scott, nicknamed “Papa Swift,” is beloved by the megastar’s fans for public acts of kindness, including handing out sandwiches to fans at an earlier concert in Sydney. He left Australia with Taylor as scheduled after the incident, Good Morning America reported.
Taylor will continue touring in Singapore. The Eras Tour became the highest-grossing music tour of all time last year, and the first to earn more than $1 billion in revenue.
This story has been updated.

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