Gwyneth's guy is charged after paparazzo squabble. Coldplay's Chris Martin allegedly vandalized a photographer's car

By Gary Susman
July 21, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT
Chris Martin: Bret Thompsett/Alpha/ GLOBE PHOTOS

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is finally starting to act like a real rock star. Not only is he dating a movie star (Gwyneth Paltrow), but he reportedly got into a scrap with a paparazzo on Sunday that ended with him smashing the windshield of the photographer’s car with a rock. The 26-year-old singer was charged with malicious damage by local police in Byron Bay, Australia, and ordered to appear in court on Oct. 8.

According to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Martin and his entourage were surfing at the resort town’s Seven Mile Beach when they spotted Jon Lister taking digital photos of them. (Paltrow, who traveled to Australia with the British rocker, was reportedly not present.) The rocker demanded that Lister erase the photos, then said, ”Anywhere you go, I will go,” unless he complied, Lister told police. Then Martin allegedly attacked Lister’s car.

”Police interviewed the gentleman,” a police spokesman said of Martin in a BBC interview, ”where he admitted he had lost his temper due to the constant harassment by that journalist, and consequently smashed his windscreen and let the air out of his tyres.” Martin and Coldplay performed Sunday night as scheduled at the town’s Splendour in the Grass music festival, but he was ordered to return for a court appearance in October. However, the police spokesman told the BBC, there are procedures which would allow him to be represented in absentia. Neither Martin nor his label has commented on the incident.