What happened with the trial of George Harrison’s photographer that was hinted at in ‘The Beatles: Get Back’?

Peter Jackson’s new three-part documentary, The Beatles: Come Back, is very enlightening. This foreshadows a few situations that the group will deal with later. However, it also alludes to a situation The Beatles were quietly behind the scenes in 1969. Many fans were probably shocked to learn that George Harrison was privately dealing with a lawsuit with a photographer.

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‘The Beatles: Get Back’ mentioned The trial of George Harrison’s photographer

At Peter Jackson’s The Beatles: Come BackJohn Lennon read a newspaper clipping saying George was accused of assaulting a French photographer.

“Beatle George Harrison, above, is due in court today to answer assault charges,” John read. “Harrison is accused of assaulting a photographer last May as he and Beatle Ringo Starr left a nightclub.” George did not react.

Geek’s Lair reported: “The incident is mentioned in a daily Beatles log online, but the entry gives the same information we get in the documentary. It’s confirmed in Keith Badman’s book, The Beatles: Off the Record, which says Mr. Charles Bébert testified in court about the incident. But he has been reported.”

So what happened?

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The Belfast Telegraph reported on the matter

Den of Geek discovered that the Belfast Telegraph reported on George’s photographer’s trial in early 1969.

The report read: “BEATLE George Harrison was fined 1,000 francs (tB5 sterling) in Nice today for assaulting a French press photographer.”

They also reported that French photographer, Charles Bébert, “told in court that Harrison tripped him outside a nightclub in this French Riviera resort last May, causing him a knee injury that had required seven stitches.He had originally intended to seek 15,000 francs in damages from Harrison, but the photographers had dropped the action.

“Harrison was not in court today and issued an apology through his lawyers. Hébert [sic] alleged the incident happened when he took a flash photo of Harrison and Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and their wives leaving the nightclub early one morning.

Den of Geek wrote that Bébert was not a paparazzi. However, the incident appeared “paparazzi-like”, albeit accidentally. Bébert entered a restaurant called La Pignata, on the heights of Fabron in Nice.

“I see George Harrison and his wife. I’m starting to shoot,” Bébert told Christophe Cirone of Nice-Matin magazine (per Den of Geek) in 2021. “They go inside. But there are so many people that they go out immediately.

Trying to get a better view of George, Bébert found himself too close to the Beatles. “When I ran, he tripped me,” remembers Bébert. “I was going to hit him. I know it’s George Harrison, but he doesn’t know my name is Bébert. Bébert is as famous as the French movie stars he photographs.

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George had another aggressive encounter with a photographer

George’s encounter with Bébert in 1969 was not his first aggressive encounter with a photographer. In 1964, George threw his drink to United Press International photographer Robert Flora during an evening at Whiskey A Go Go.

However, George did not hit Flora. He hit the actor Granny Van Doren.

Beatles publicist Derek Taylor arranged for the band to meet actor Jayne Mansfield, but it didn’t go well. Somehow, Mansfield, George, John and Ringo Starr ended up at the famous club.

“Someone scammed us into going to Whiskey A Go Go,” George recalled in Anthology. “It seemed like it took us twenty minutes to get from the door to the table and instantly all the Hollywood paparazzi came down.”

“It was a total set up by Jayne Mansfield to have pictures taken with us,” George said. “John and I were sitting on either side of her and she had her hands on our legs, close to our groins – at least she did on mine.

“A photographer came and tried to take a picture and I threw the glass of water at him. He snapped a picture of the water coming out of the glass and dipping – coincidentally – actress Mamie Van Doren, who happened to be passing by.

“We got out of there; it was hell. We left town the next day, and I remember sitting on the plane, reading the paper, and there was the picture of me throwing the water.

So George hasn’t had the best luck with photographers, paparazzi or not. Both situations only contributed to George’s distaste for fame. He liked his privacy, after all.

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