Taylor Swift’s Team Breaks Silence on Assault Accusations Against Her Father

Representatives for Taylor Swift are firing back at an Australian photographer’s allegations that he was assaulted by the pop star’s father early Tuesday (Feb. 27) morning after her Sydney show.

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Australian Paparazzo Claims Taylor Swift’s Dad Hit Him

Ben McDonald, 51, accused 71-year-old Scott Swift of punching him in the face. McDonald was snapping pictures of Swift and her entourage on a luxury superyacht along Sydney Harbor.

Hours earlier, Swift had wrapped up the Australian leg of her “Eras” tour.

McDonald claimed a security guard forced an umbrella into his face to obscure his shot of Swift exiting the yacht. Then, he told police, an older man — later identified as Papa Swift — confronted him and “took it further.”

“He punched me in the chops,” McDonald told French media outlet Agency France-Presse. “It was a shock. That’s never happened to me in 26 years.”

Taylor Swift’s Team Speaks Out

However, Swift’s team told a different story to PEOPLE. A spokesperson for the “Anti-Hero” singer said trouble began when two people  “were aggressively pushing their way towards Taylor” along the wharf.

Those two people were “grabbing at her security personnel and threatening to throw a female staff member into the water,” according to a statement from Swift’s team.

[RELATED: Taylor Swift Shares Priceless Video of Her Parents Clubbing With Travis Kelce After Super Bowl Win]

Fans React to Alleged Altercation Between Taylor Swift’s Dad and Photographer

As with all Taylor Swift-related news, the internet had a lot to say. Many praised Scott Swift’s zealous defense of his daughter and derided the photographer’s alleged hostility toward the singer and her team.

“Not the photographer trying to make himself out to be the victim,” one user wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “Let’s see how many pop stars the photographer tries to photograph at 3am now.”

Another X user wrote, “If you’re upset about this you should sell me your eras tour tickets so I, a photographer, can personally investigate if Scott swift hates photographers or only ones that are invasive and harassing them at 3am.”

Others joked the photographer was fortunate that the swing came from Scott Swift and not Travis Kelce — Taylor Swift’s boyfriend and tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Still others pointed out that this wasn’t McDonald’s first altercation with a celebrity. Australian courts granted actress Nicole Kidman a restraining order against McDonald and another photographer in 2005. Kidman sought legal protection against the pair after finding a listening device on her Sydney property.

One X user appeared to side with McDonald. “The photographers are free to photograph whoever they choose on public property,” the user wrote. “Taylor’s bodyguards are not working police officers, and have no authority to tell anyone what to do, nor touch anyone. Neither does her father.”

Featured image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for dcp

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