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Los Angeles Times

Nick Lachey ordered into anger management, 12-step program after 2022 paparazzo clash

By Emily St. Martin,


Nick Lachey’s temper has landed him in hot water.

After a heated run-in with a female paparazzo last year, singer-turned-TV personality Nick Lachey has been ordered to attend anger management classes and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings as a condition of the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office's pre-filing diversion program.

The case report obtained by the Daily Mail shows the “This I Swear” singer initially faced charges of assault and battery against photographer Jody Santos in March 2022.

According to Santos, Lachey did not receive any formal punishment until she relentlessly pursued the Beverly Hills Police Department and accused them of giving the singer preferential treatment.

“Finally they called me back and said, ‘No, he’s not getting preferential treatment’ and explained that they have a program with the courts where they don’t let misdemeanors just walk," she told the Daily Mail in an interview published Tuesday.

The D.A.'s office told The Times that Lachey has not been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery, but will instead complete anger management classes and attend 12-step meetings. If he completes those successfully, criminal charges will not be filed.

“A personal apology was declined, then a written apology was declined,” Santos continued in the Tuesday interview. “No one from his team has reached out and asked, 'Are you OK?'

“He's had plenty of time to apologize, but instead he just figured I would go away,” she said. “What he did was wrong. Attempting to bust his fist through my car window when all I was doing was taking photographs of him. He should have been thanking me for the free publicity.”

The altercation happened about a year ago in Beverly Hills as Lachey and his wife and “Love Is Blind” co-host, Vanessa Lachey, were leaving Mastro's Steakhouse. Santos was sitting in her car across the street, snapping photos of the celebrity couple.

The photographer told the Daily Mail that Lachey punched her car window repeatedly and she feared he would break through the glass.

“In all my years of photographing celebrities, no one has ever tried to hit me,” Santos said.

Videos that captured part of the incident show Lachey angrily approaching Santos and reaching through her window and into her car, seemingly trying to snatch her camera or phone. Photos also show Lachey repeatedly flipping off Santos.

“He has to complete [anger management and AA] within a reasonable time, which is like a year or so,” Santos said.

“If he fails to do so, they will move forward to prosecute him with noncompliance and he will get arrested.”

The "Masked Singer" Season 5 winner tweeted about the incident the day after it happened, saying that he and his wife were being harassed.

He also tweeted that he was not violent, although the Beverly Hills Police Department seems to have disagreed.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times .

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