When Kanye West grabbed country-pop star Taylor Swift’s mike at the ceremony, there may have been a minor assault but the most likely charge, if any was brought, would be disorderly conduct. West was photographed drinking heavily at the event and committed an act of trespass on the stage. Fans have been charged with disturbing the peace for storming a concert stage and I am not sure why West should not receive such a charge.
On the civil side, there is no real strong claim. There is assault (weak) as well as intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress (also relatively weak). Trespass to chattel for the mike is weak and would run to the show not Swift.
This is not the first time for such egregious conduct for West — further supporting the call for possible legal action.
He stormed onstage at the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards when the award did not go to his single “Touch the Sky.”
He screaming that the video “cost a million dollars and Pamela Anderson was in it.”
West does not seem particularly contrite on his blog, saying “I gave my awards to Outkast when they deserved it over me,” he said, referring to the 2007 BET Awards, when he tried to give his trophy to the band. I’m not crazy y’all, I’m just real.” Actually, as counsel, I would recommend not letting that insanity defense go just yet.
This is of course not the first time that a major entertainment or sporting event has been interrupted. Nevadan James Miller (known as “Fan Man”) interrupted the boxing match between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield with a paraglider and mechanical fan. He also flew into a football game and was charged with “interfering with a sporting event.” He later disappeared for a while, here. In the boxing incident, he was beaten badly by the fans and a security officer struck Miller 20 times. He was later charged with dangerous flying.
David Niven had to deal with a streaker in the 1974 Academy Awards. Unlike West those individuals can be charged with indecent exposure.
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