Monday, January 16, 2012

Sharon Sargeant Vs The Middletons

Britney Spears attacks paparazzi
Lord Justice Leveson
At the Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking in the UK, the picture editor of The Daily Mail-the newspaper that receives more web hits than any other publication on the planet-Paul Silva gave evidence that Pippa Middleton the sister of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, typically has eight or nine photographers camped outside her door and estimated that they produce between "300 to 400 pictures" of her daily. Silva says these photographs arrive on his desk and most are literally, snaps of Pippa either entering or exiting her front door and are of no value.

It's an example of the nature of today's so-called 'papparazi that has seen thousands of young kids armed with an inexpensive digital camera swell the ranks of the 'media' section of show-biz events.

For old-timers (like the Shuttle) they're a pain in the neck. Most of them are arrogant and seem to have no connection to the celebrities they snap. They show little interest in the subject matter. It's like big game hunting with a lens and as long as a 'kill' is made that's all that matters.

Frank Monte
Pippa Middleton
The Shuttle dates back to the days when they were just three photographers at any event in London. Richard Young was one and he was a welcome addition to any show biz shin dig or high society party. Likewise New York's Patrick McMullan. Both are still going strong and the difference is they are welcome at any event because not only do they have a personality, they know how to play the game.

In Los Angeles the paparazzi are even worse. Agencies are hiring illegal immigrants at around 6 a time to stake out a movie star's home. They have strict instructions. Two will have cameras, two will be 'spotters' and they other two 'agitators'. Their role is to annoy, cajole, flirt or otherwise to get a reaction from the star. A smile is as good as a scowl from their prey.

And so it leads us to Sydney party girl Sharon Sargeant who as we reported last week, was  photographed at an exclusive Fijian resort while her partner, private investigator Frank Monte held secret discussions with Fijian government officials. The snaps came from an unlikely source-a well known American show business star who had spotted Ms Sargeant bathing topless at the beach.

What the Shuttle wasn't expecting was the roasting we got when we finally got in touch with the girl known as Shazza who made her displeasure known in a 5 minute tirade down the phone.  Surely she would be happy to know an American star- and we do mean a top movie star who was quite taken with Sargeant's charms-thought enough of her to pass on the pics?. Sadly we cannot reveal his name despite Ms Sargeant's threat to take legal action.

However-just to show there are no hard feelings, we decided to publish two more from the set !