Wednesday, March 14, 2007

By Jerome Taylor

The tables have been turned on a group of photographers whose clash with actor Leonardo DiCaprio's security in Jerusalem resulted in the arrest of two of his bodyguards by Israeli police.

The two security guards detained for questioning after the incident were released without charge, but several of the paparazzi involved in the fracas were ordered to keep their distance from DiCaprio and his Israeli girlfriend, Bar Refaeli, his New York-based spokesman said on Tuesday.

Grainy video footage circulating on the internet showed photographers swarming a van that picked up DiCaprio and model Refaeli as they emerged from a private tour at the Western Wall, which is Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's walled Old City.

DiCaprio, a three-time Oscar nominee, arrived in Israel this week for a visit amid much fanfare. He recently starred in the Oscar-winning crime drama The Departed.

Since their arrival on Sunday, DiCaprio and Refaeli have been hounded. The Israeli tabloids are fiercely proud that the model has been able to attract such Hollywood royalty.

DiCaprio has forgone exclusive hotel suites and has opted for Refaeli's family home in Hod Hasharon instead. Pictures from the town show the family home surrounded by photographers on mopeds and television vans. Refaeli, who has been dating DiCaprio for more than a year, began modelling at the age of 15.

She is best known inside Israel for being the first Israeli woman to feature in the world-famous swimwear edition of Sports Illustrated magazine.
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