Lara Bingle should be charged for the “beat-down” of New York paparazzo Sheng Li and will also end up paying financial damages, according to the photographer’s lawyer.
Ron Kuby, a veteran Manhattan defence lawyer, says he has contacted New York District Attorney Cy Vance and has video evidence supporting charges against Bingle for not only attacking his client but filing a false police report.
Kuby says he will present footage of Sunday’s incident on a Greenwich Village street, involving Bingle, her movie-star boyfriend Sam Worthington and Li, to Vance’s office.
The video evidence includes footage Li took.
“The real issue, I think, is the DA has to drop the charges against my client,” Kuby told AAP on Thursday.
“The second is, charges need to be brought against Bingle.
“Nobody should be looking at any jail time here, but there has to be some message that this type of conduct is not OK.”
The DA’s office declined to comment because it was an “ongoing investigation”.
Worthington and Li have both been charged with assault and harassment.
Police say Li was punched repeatedly in the face by Worthington after Bingle claimed the paparazzo kicked her in the shin.
Kuby says there is no evidence Bingle was kicked.
“After reviewing all of the footage I have received – and the beauty of New York is there is footage everywhere – it seems it is entirely clear Lara Bingle initiates the conversation by walking toward Sheng Li and then knocking his camera out of his hands or otherwise shoving into him,” he said.
“The audio footage doesn’t have anything about, ‘You kicked me’.
“If somebody had just got kicked they would say, ‘Oh, oh’.
“There’s no explanation of pain.
“She doesn’t stop. She doesn’t look at her ankle.
“She just continues walking at the same pace and then it appears she’s calling Worthington on the cell phone.”
Kuby has not discussed a civil suit with his client, who suffered cuts and bruises to his face, a damaged camera and has not returned to work since Sunday.
The lawyer said Bingle and Worthington would end up having to pay his client.
“It was a beat-down in the street and that carries a criminal penalty that should be paid and certainly there is going to be financial damages that need to be paid,” he said.