Reeves' lawyer grills photographer over car-crash claims

Reeves' lawyer grills photographer over car-crash claims

A photographer suing Hollywood star Keanu Reeves told jurors in Los Angeles that he could not remember giving conflicting accounts of an incident involving the actor that he claims left him seriously injured.

Alison Silva buckled under questioning by Reeves’ defence and acknowledged he was beaten by fellow photographers while shooting photos of singer Britney Spears earlier this year.

That assault came roughly a year after the incident in which Mr Silva claims The Matrix and Speed star Reeves hit him with his car and left him unable to work.

Mr Silva admitted that the beating left him unconscious and forced him to delay a second operation to repair damage in his left wrist he attributes to the run-in with Reeves.

The 28-year-old Brazilian-born paparazzo spent his second day testifying about the incident and his subsequent treatment. He is suing the star claiming he hit him with his Porsche in March 2007 while Mr Silva was trying to take photos of the actor behind the wheel.

Jurors also heard from a fire department captain who said Mr Silva complained of pain in his left knee moments after his fall, despite his later statements to doctors and testimony that Reeves’ Porsche hit his right knee and that it hurt afterwards.

The captain also said Mr Silva was clutching his camera when paramedics arrived, contrary to the paparazzo’s testimony that he dropped his camera when he says Reeves hit him with the Porsche.

Mr Silva was generally able to answer his lawyer’s questions directly on Tuesday and yesterday. But he repeatedly told Reeves’ lawyer, Mark Williams, that he could not remember aspects of the incident and statements he made to emergency call centre staff and doctors.

Mr Williams questioned Mr Silva about telling an eyewitness that the incident was “an accident”, then later allegedly telling a casualty doctor that Reeves had sped towards him and tried to flee the scene.

In fact, Reeves remained at the scene, tried to summon help for Mr Silva and attempted to talk to him after his fall.

Mr Silva acknowledged he never responded to Reeves questions, but called a fellow paparazzo who came to retrieve his camera.

Jurors also listened to testimony about the injuries to Mr Silva’s left wrist. A doctor who evaluated him after an initial surgery failed said the photographer told his staff that Reeves drove on to the pavement to hit him.

Reeves and Mr Silva have both said Mr Silva fell in the street and Reeves’ Porsche moved only a few feet.

The doctor testified that even with another surgery to repair his wrist, Mr Silva may not be able to grip items properly afterwards.

The case is expected to go to jurors by tomorrow. Mr Silva will return to the stand today to undergo more questioning by Mr Williams, who may offer jurors more details about Mr Silva’s beating by other paparazzi.

Despite sometimes contentious testimony yesterday, Mr Silva gushed at Reeves at one point, saying he followed his career and was nervous while shooting pictures of him.

“I’m a big fan,” he said, acknowledging that Reeves had been cordial to him even after the trial began on Monday.

As he heaped praise on the actor, Mr Silva raised his left hand to motion to motion towards Reeves – the same one he had raised moments earlier to jurors to point out a surgical scar.

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