Who Is Ben McDonald? Reportedly Nicole Kidman Was Granted Restraining Order Against Pap Who Accused Taylor Swift’s Dad Of Assault

Nicole Kidman's past legal battle with paparazzo Ben McDonald resurfaces amid accusations against Taylor Swift’s dad, adding a new layer to the unfolding drama.

Updated on Feb 28, 2024  |  09:37 AM IST |  134K
Pop Icon Taylor Swift and her father Scott Swift (Getty Images)
Pop Icon Taylor Swift and her father Scott Swift (Getty Images)
Key Highlight
  • In January 2005, Nicole Kidman, emerged victorious in a legal battle against Ben McDonald
  • Pop icon Taylor Swift’s father has been accused of assaulting photographer Ben McDonald

Ben McDonald, the photographer at the center of the recent accusation against Taylor Swift's father Scott Swift, has reportedly a history that sheds new light on the unfolding drama.

In January 2005, Nicole Kidman, the Big Little Lies actress, won a legal battle against freelance photographer Ben McDonald and his associate Jamie Fawcett. The court ruled in Kidman's favor after a listening device was discovered on her Sydney property, prompting her to express feelings of fear and confinement in her own home. As a result, the judge issued a restraining order, mandating that McDonald and Fawcett maintain a distance of at least 60 feet from Kidman and her residence.

Page Six recently uncovered this past legal dispute in light of McDonald's claims that he was assaulted by Scott Swift, father of renowned singer Taylor Swift, in Sydney's North Shore on Tuesday.

This same photographer has been previously involved in a legal dispute with Nicole Kidman, who filed a restraining order against him in the past. Let's explore what exactly happened with the pap and the buzz surrounding the incident. 

Who is Ben McDonald? 

Ben McDonald is an Australian photographer who accused pop icon Taylor Swift's father, Scott Swift, of assaulting him. McDonald alleged that he was attacked by the songstress’ father at Sydney’s North Shore on Tuesday.

According to statements shared with the Daily Mail by the paparazzo, the incident occurred when the father-daughter duo was leaving a party at a ferry wharf around 2:30 a.m. The paparazzo claimed that Scott Swift approached him aggressively and struck him on the left side of his face.

McDonald maintained that he did not provoke the 71-year-old in any way. He stated this while noting that Taylor Swift's security team was escorting the pop star and her father to their car, using umbrellas to shield them from the paparazzi's view. 

“He probably decided he needed to defend his daughter, for some reason,” McDonald told the outlet adding, “In 23 years, I have never seen anything like it.”

Photographs taken by paparazzi at the time of the purported confrontation depicted the 34-year-old 14-time Grammy winner and her father, Scott, holding onto each other as they departed from the dock, with Taylor shielding herself under a black umbrella.

Two security guards accompanied them, using a flashlight to deter the paparazzi. Additionally, footage obtained by the Daily Mail captured the purported altercation. The paparazzo's video camera appeared to shake as two individuals appeared to collide while Taylor and Scott entered their car. 

What happened between Taylor Swift's dad and Ben McDonald?

Photographer Ben McDonald found himself at the center of attention after alleging an assault by an unnamed 71-year-old man, later revealed to be Scott Swift, father of pop icon Taylor Swift. McDonald, who has been in the paparazzi business for 23 years, expressed shock at the altercation, stating to ABC, “In 23 years of doing this, I’ve never been assaulted, let alone punched in the face by a father.”

Authorities in New South Wales confirmed they were investigating the alleged assault that occurred at Neutral Bay Wharf around 2:30 am on Tuesday, February 27, 2024. According to NSW Police, the incident involved a 71-year-old man assaulting McDonald before leaving the scene. In response to the allegations, officers attached to North Shore Police Area Command initiated inquiries into the matter.

Taylor Swift's spokesperson provided a different perspective on the incident, stating to Rolling Stone that two individuals were acting aggressively towards Swift and her entourage at the time of the alleged assault. The spokesperson described the individuals as pushing their way towards Swift, grabbing at her security personnel, and even threatening to throw a female staff member into the water.

The incident comes amidst the conclusion of Taylor Swift's Australian tour leg, where she performed in front of 81,000 fans at Sydney’s Accor Stadium. As she is moving forward with her tour, Swift is set to perform in Singapore on Friday, marking the beginning of six shows in the Southeast Asian city-state.

According to a spokesperson for Taylor Swift quoted by Rolling Stone, two individuals exhibited aggressive behavior towards Swift and her team during the alleged incident.

"These individuals were forcefully pushing their way towards Taylor, grabbing at her security personnel, and threatening to push a female staff member into the water," the spokesperson stated.

Swift, one of the most successful music artists of all time, boasting 14 Grammy wins and millions of album sales worldwide, concluded her Australian tour leg with a performance in front of 81,000 fans at Sydney’s Accor Stadium on Monday.

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