HOLLYWOOD VS. THE PAPARAZZI: IT’S WAR!

Gangster paps. Celebrity fake-outs. Secret payoffs. Violent skirmishes. Hollywood’s paparazzi wars are turning ugly. Radar reports from

The evening of March 13 was just another Tuesday night for Lindsay Lohan. She spent a few hours at Butter in Manhattan—where the line for nobodies stretches around the block and blood orange Bellinis go for $14—sporting a brave face on the eve of her ne’er-do-well father’s release from prison. Around 3 a.m., she and some friends hopped in her mother’s white 2004 BMW as the paparazzi gave chase. Pursued by at least two cars, she careened through lower Manhattan, putting the Beemer’s famed facility for cornering to the test. Pulling into the valet lane in front of Hotel Gansevoort in the West Village, she found herself blocked in and surrounded by photographers.

To judge by video aired by Access Hollywood, the scene rapidly devolved into mayhem, with gawkers and paparazzi shouting Lohan’s name as she sat trapped in the driver’s seat. Then, depending on whom you ask, one of two things happened: Either Lohan decided to run over a paparazzo named Giovanni Arnold, or Arnold, who was perched on the hood of Lohan’s car snapping pics, smelled a lawsuit and took a dive in front of her BMW as she edged forward. “Oh my God! Lindsay, you hit somebody,” the photographers shouted, addressing the starlet like concerned friends.

Arnold wound up at St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he was treated for a bruised knee, and clips of the incident were on the Internet within hours. Days later, Lohan’s mother, Dina, told Harper’s Bazaar that “Diana will happen again” (referring to the Princess of Wales’ death during a paparazzi car chase), and hinted darkly that her daughter might be next.