James Franco sued for headbutting photographer while ‘smiling demonically’ at Lana Del Rey gig

David Tonnessen accuses actor of 'unprovoked' attack at a Hollywood gig in 2014

Actor James Franco is being sued over an incident alleged to have taken place at a Lana Del Rey gig in 2014.

Franco has long been known to be a fan of the ‘Video Games’ singer. In 2015, he published a book called Flip-Side: Real And Imaginary Conversations With Lana Del Rey, having previously penned a short essay about Del Rey for V Magazine.

Now TMZ reports that Franco is being accused by photographer David Tonnessen of headbutting him during Del Rey’s gig at Hollywood Forever Cemetery two years ago.

It is claimed that “unprovoked, [Franco] viciously charged and head-butted [Tonnessen] in the stomach” after Tonnessen had been taking photos of the star.

Derek Bremner/NME

In the complaint, Franco is described by Tonnessen as having been “smiling, rather demonically… [with a] blank expression of joy on his face”.

Tonnessen claims that he was hospitalised as a result of the attack and has suffered “permanent injuries” since. He is suing medical expenses, plus other damages.

Franco has not yet responded publicly to the allegations.

Writing about Lana Del Rey for V Magazine, Franco previously said: “When I watch her stuff, when I listen to her stuff, I am reminded of everything I love about Los Angeles. I am sucked into a long gallery of Los Angeles cult figurines, and cult people, up all night like vampires and bikers.”

“The only difference between Lana and me is her haunting voice. That carries everything. The voice is the central axle around which the spokes of everything else extend.”

In return, Del Rey has said that she admires Franco’s work and “became friends” with him recently. “He’s someone I artistically look up to. That scenario is rare,” she said.