[artist id="846"]Guns N' Roses[/artist] singer [artist id="1322928"]Axl Rose[/artist] issued a statement late on Thursday about an alleged run-in he had with paparazzi on Wednesday at the Los Angeles International Airport when he was on his way to GNR's first [article id="1624339"]tour in support of last year's Chinese Democracy.[/article]
"Axl Rose, lead singer for the legendary rock group Guns N' Roses, was unhurt last evening when he was accosted by an unruly group of paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)," read the statement posted on the band's official MySpace page.
"At the time of the incident, Mr. Rose was en route to Taipei, Taiwan, to kick off Guns N' Roses' tour of Southeast Asia, including shows in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Mr. Rose, who was about to enter a security checkpoint at LAX when the altercation took place, was approached by a group of unchecked and unruly photographers, who became aggressive with the singer and female members of the traveling group. Mr. Rose was not injured during the unprovoked attack and was able to board his flight without further incident."
According to a statement released by a spokesperson for LAX, "A video appearing to depict singer Axl Rose punching another person (believed to be a celebrity photographer) was taken Wed, 12-9-09, by an unknown person at the Tom Bradley International Terminal near the north side TSA exit lane. The punch takes place near a person in uniform. Airport Police reports no officers were present when this occurred. Further, as of this date, there have been no crime reports or radio calls initiated from this incident."
A spokesperson for the LAX police force could not be reached for comment about the alleged incident at press time.
TMZ reported that a paparazzo claims to have footage of Rose punching him in the head during the scuffle on Wednesday night. The unnamed photographer told the site that Rose arrived at LAX with an unidentified woman, and as they were walking through the airport, the woman allegedly got into a confrontation with paparazzi who were trying to take her picture. The source said that Rose saw the woman struggling with the other shooters and "instantly started throwing punches." TMZ said the photog has not yet produced the video of the incident and no airport security or police got involved in the incident.
Mercurial singer Rose doesn't appear to have been too thrown off by the incident, as the band's just-launched Twitter announced early Friday, "On stage, rocking Taipei!" The show, the band's first in nearly three years, is part of a four-gig swing through Southeast Asia that will be followed by 16 Canadian dates in January and early February, and South American shows in March and April. No U.S. dates have been announced yet.