Taylor Swift’s dad accused of punching photographer in the face

Taylor Swift (L) and Scott Swift (R) cheer while watching the NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on Dec. 17, 2023, in Foxboro, Mass. Scott Swift allegedly punched a photographer in the jaw during an altercation on the Sydney waterfront on Tuesday. Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Taylor Swift‘s father is in hot water for allegedly punching a photographer in the jaw on the Sydney waterfront in the early hours of Tuesday.

Photographer Ben McDonald told the Associated Press (AP) and AFP that he reported Scott Swift, 71, to police immediately after the encounter, though his injuries were minor.

“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 told AP.

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

An undated self-portrait photo supplied by Ben McDonald. Ben McDonald via AP

The New South Wales Police Force confirmed that it’s investigating a report that “a 71-year-old man allegedly assaulted a 51-year-old man at Neutral Bay Wharf about 2:30 am, before leaving the location.”

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Australian police did not release the names of the people involved. A law enforcement source told AFP that the man accused is Taylor’s father.

Just hours before the alleged altercation, Taylor had wrapped up her last Eras Tour show in Accor Stadium. The pop star and her entourage partied on a yacht in Sydney Harbour before docking at Neutral Bay Wharf.

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Video of Taylor and her dad Scott walking down the wharf as they exited the boat was obtained by Australia’s 9News. It showed Scott flashing his middle finger at waiting paparazzi as he led Taylor, wearing a large umbrella, down the jetty. The video did not capture the alleged punch.

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According to a representative for Taylor, members of the media were being aggressive towards the pop star.

“Two individuals were aggressively pushing their way towards Taylor, grabbing at her security personnel, and threatening to throw a female staff member into the water,” the rep stated.

But according to McDonald, he was blindsided by Scott after being roughed up by security.

“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 told AP.

“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 said.

“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 that he didn’t realize who punched him until he was reviewing the photos he’d taken of Taylor’s yacht party from that evening. He had photographed the man who punched him holding Taylor’s hand. McDonald went online and confirmed the man was Scott.

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Police later told AFP the 71-year-old involved in the alleged assault has “left the country” but inquiries are continuing.

This is not McDonald’s first legal run-in with a celebrity.

In 2005, Nicole Kidman was granted a restraining order against McDonald and another photographer, Jamie Fawcett, after she discovered an electronic listening device outside her Sydney home.

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