Chris Rock was asked a question about Newt Gingrich, the Republican presidential candidate, and flew into a rage Monday.
Chris Rock's now-infamous Newt Gingrich question may have nothing to actually do with the former Speaker of the House, however.
While the popular comedian was attending a Google event at the Tao club during the Sundance film festival, he was caught off guard by paparazzi pretending to be harmless fans.
"A guy walked up to Chris and his entourage and said, 'Hey, could I get a photo of you with my girlfriend?'" according to The New York Post.
The question seemed innocent enough, but when the "Death at a Funeral" star turned around to oblige the man, he was ambushed by a slew of questions, the first of which was about Newt Gingrich.
"When [Rock] turned around, he found a video camera in his face, asking him about Gingrich," said the insider.
Rock didn't take the intrusion lightly.
"Chris pushed the interviewer and grabbed the camera," reports the source. But Rock didn't stop there. In a fit of anger, the 46-year-old "smashed [the camera] so hard, it broke into pieces."
The funnyman's tirade was not over. After the recording equipment was thoroughly destroyed, Rock cursed the man, who had apparently been asked more than once not to film the comedian during the event.
"Did you get your shot?" an angry Rock fumed.
Security escorted the paparazzo out. It is unknown if any other legal action will be taken.
Although most people would not attack photographers and video journalists for fear of legal action, other celebrity encounters with paparazzi- many of which would make Rock's look affable by comparison- have shown that courts usually side with the stars.
Sean Penn dangled a paparazzo over a ninth-floor balcony by his ankles in 1986 while shooting "Shanghai Surprise" in China. When arrested and charged with attempted murder, he broke out of jail and fled the country.
He was later pardoned.