Larry Altman of the DAILY BREEZE here in Los Angeles was first to report this week Pau Gasol calling on Redondo Beach police officers to throw a scare into the Spanish paparazzi.
Gasol, who lives in Redondo Beach, told officers he saw the men following him before he got into his car. They tailed him with such tenacity that he was unsure if he was being stalked or if they were photographers, Redondo Beach police Sgt. Phil Keenan said.
Officers spotted the black sedan and pulled it over on Diamond Street near Catalina Avenue, just west of the police station. The occupants turned out to be credentialed paparazzi with a Spanish news agency and were allowed to leave, Keenan said.
Police escorted Gasol home.
“They had laid in wait for him for a while and then when they didn’t take any pictures of him when they had the chance and followed him after that, he thought there was something nefarious on their mind,” said Redondo Sgt. Phil Keenan.
They didn’t take any pictures of him when they had the chance? The Spanish paparazzi has never tailed Gasol in Los Angeles until now. So what changed?
Gasol is now dating a reality show performer from Spain named Silvia Lopez Castro. The two now live together in a South Bay community of L.A. That relationship is what motivated the Spanish press to be in Redondo Beach. The paparazzi wanted shots of her and the couple together. Not Gasol alone.
The gray area here is what happens next time Gasol gets tailed. If he didn’t know before, he now understands that the Spanish media is very interested in his girlfriend and their relationship.
With that in mind, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have the local cops on your side. We’ll soon find out if the Spanish press finds the Gasol-Castro coupling compelling enough to face another confrontation with the R.B.P.D.
I’m actually surprised the Los Angeles media even covered this situation. Despite being the home of Hollywood, the local papers contain no gossip columns - showbiz or otherwise. Ironic, eh?
Meanwhile New York is ruled by tabloids masquerading as newspapers in the NEW YORK POST and NEW YORK DAILY NEWS. If Gasol was dating Castro while playing for the Knicks, he’d find himself being tailed with such tenacity by his hometown media. And most likely a less sympathetic police force.
But before Gasol can relax, remember that TMZSports.com here in Los Angeles is due to launch soon. The start date for the website, for reasons that I’m investigating, has been pushed back. But I’ve been assured by multiple sources that TMZ has every intention of launching a sports offering - sooner than later.
While that prospect may seem harrowing for Gasol, remember that his girlfriend is a former reality show performer who also performed for a quasi-cheerleader group throughout Spain. I wouldn’t exactly characterize her as a shrinking violet.
For all we know, Castro would enjoy the attention and salivate at the prospect of using TMZ as a springboard for a reality show opp. If that sounds far-fetched, you can officially turn in your membership card to the Facebook/Reality Show generation.