Sam Worthington has argued paparazzi should expect to ”risk” getting hurt doing their jobs. The Avatar actor was cleared of assault earlier this year following an altercation with Sheng Li in February but the photographer has brought a $10 million civil lawsuit against him and girlfriend Lara Bingle for inflicting injury and slander and the 38-year-old actor has now submitted a response.
His lawyer Rachel Wade argued in recent filings that when the photographer decided to follow the couple he ”knew the hazards thereof and the inherent risks incident thereto and had full knowledge of the ranges thereof.”
According to the New York Post‘s Page Six column, she went on to insist that any injuries ”were caused by reason of such risks voluntarily undertaken by the plaintiff in his activities and such risks were assumed and accepted by him in performing and engaging in said activities.” A settlement conference has been scheduled for January 7.
Following the altercation in New York’s Greenwich Village, Sam avoided jail after he quietly entered into a conditional dismissal deal at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York. The star submitted a waiver to the court explaining he was ”contractually committed” to work in Europe at this time and thanked the judge for working with his schedule.
He wrote in a statement: ”I understand that as long as I continue to lead a law abiding life, this matter will be dismissed and sealed.” The actor was accused of punching the photographer multiple times in the face after Lara, 27, claimed he kicked her shin. Sam was charged with third-degree assault, third-degree attempted assault and second-degree harassment. The photographer was also arrested and booked for reckless endangerment, assault and harassment.
Sam previously got into an altercation with a photographer in 2012, when he was arrested and pepper sprayed following an argument outside a restaurant in Atlanta.