Photographer Accuses Taylor Swift’s Dad of Punching Him in the Face on Sydney Waterfront

Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File
Taylor Swift arrives at the 66th annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, 2024, in Los Angeles.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A photographer told police he was punched in the face by Taylor Swift’s father on the Sydney waterfront on Tuesday, hours after the pop star’s Australian tour ended.

Ben McDonald said he provided police with a statement alleging that Scott Swift assaulted him at the Neutral Bay Wharf, where the father and daughter had just come ashore from a yacht.

The veteran paparazzo said he decided to report the attack to police despite not being seriously injured.

It was just a punch in the chops. It’s a little tender, but I don’t have any bruising and it didn’t require medical assistance, McDonald said.

In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad, he added.

Taylor Swift’s representative did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

But a spokesperson for the star told Rolling Stone magazine that at the time of the incident, two people were “aggressively pushing” to get to Taylor Swift, grabbed security and threatened a member of the singer’s staff.

The New South Wale Police Force media office confirmed that police were investigating the alleged assault of a 51-year-old man by a 71-year-old man at 2:30 a.m. Police did not release names, in accordance with their policy for such allegations.

Taylor Swift left the country on a private jet Tuesday, after more than 600,000 fans saw the Australian leg of her Eras Tour at seven Australian stadium concerts.

McDonald said media had been waiting to photograph the star as she walked with her entourage from a jetty to two waiting cars.

There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car, McDonald told the AP.

Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face. Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father, McDonald added.

McDonald said he realized that his alleged assailant was not a part of the security detail after seeing a photo of him holding Swift’s hand while reviewing photos from the evening. McDonald later identified Scott Swift from an online picture.

McDonald said there had been no cause for violence.

We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil, he said.

But no, they had to be (expletives) and put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them, he added.