Newly shorn reggae rapper Matisyahu has issued an apology statement to a female journalist after reportedly attacking her and damaging her camera.
Although Matis apologized for his action, he pointed out the female photojournalist’s own wrongdoing.
“@papermagazine @rebeccasmeyne sorry about last night.I totally snapped.I wouldn’t call it a kick, more like stepping into the crowd.,” he tweeted December 22nd.
“@papermagazine @rebeccasmeyne and being that you’ve shot so many shows you should know how distracting a huge flash in your face is.”
“@papermagazine @rebeccasmeyne seemed like you were there everywhere I turned with that flash. Next time be more sensitive to the performer.” (Matisyahu’s Twitter)
The rapper’s public relations team also issued a formal apology from him.
“I regret what transpired when I tried to remove the camera from the photographer’s hands last night. As an artist on stage, it is very distracting and disorienting to have a camera flashing in your face for an extended period of time. I reacted impulsively out of frustration and for that I apologize.” (Paper Mag)
According to reports, the female victim intially planned to file a complaint.
The report comes courtesy of photographer Rebecca Smeyne, who (full disclosure!) is a friend and sometime collaborator of mine. According to the account she wrote for Paper, Smeyne was just doing her job, shooting photos of his special Hanukkah concert at The Music Hall of Williamsburg, when he decided to kick her in the face and damage her camera. Smeyne did what any reasonable person would do and called the cops to file a report so as to increase her chances of being reimbursed for the damages. But before that could happen, Matisyahu’s manager gave her “a fat stack of bills” and apologized for Matisyahu’s behavior, calling it “out of character.” She accepted the compensation, declined to file a report, and went home. Happy Hannukah! (Crushable)
Outside of cameras, Matis recently made headlines for shaving away his trademark beard.
“This morning I posted a photo of myself on Twitter. No more Chassidic reggae superstar. Sorry folks, all you get is me…no alias. When I started becoming religious 10 years ago it was a very natural and organic process. It was my choice. My journey to discover my roots and explore Jewish spirituality–not through books but through real life. At a certain point I felt the need to submit to a higher level of religiosity…to move away from my intuition and to accept an ultimate truth. I felt that in order to become a good person I needed rules–lots of them–or else I would somehow fall apart. I am reclaiming myself. Trusting my goodness and my divine mission. Get ready for an amazing year filled with music of rebirth. And for those concerned with my naked face, don’t worry…you haven’t seen the last of my facial hair.” [sic] (Matisyahu World)
Check out a recent Matisyahu interview below: