James Blunt’s rep tells PEOPLE the pop singer was trying to steer his car through a crowd of paparazzi outside a pre-Oscar party at the time police say a man’s foot was run over.
Blunt, however, doesn’t concede hitting the man, the rep said Monday. Los Angeles police have said only that Blunt was “involved” in an injury car accident.
“It wasn’t a fan,” the rep says. “It was a ton of paparazzi that were all swarming his car as he was driving 2 mph trying to navigate his way through them. That’s the first and foremost. They were invading his space. He was just trying to quietly leave the party.”
Los Angeles Police were called to the scene outside the home of CAA agent Bryan Lourd at 1:58 a.m. Saturday. Lourd’s annual bash is a magnet for A-list celebrities. This year’s attendees included George Clooney, Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise and Madonna.
Police did not identify the injured man or characterize what he was doing. But in photos shot by Josephine Santos of Pacific Coast News, the man is seen with a camera around his neck and a blank tablet of paper.
“Suddenly James Blunt pulled out,” recalls Santos. “I was across the street. I looked over and the guy was flat on his back. I was totally frightened. I thought maybe that he got flattened by the car. I thought he was fully run over. It was horrifying. It turns out that he started to get up slowly. His right lower leg near his foot was run over.”
Santos says autograph seekers and photographers called out, “Hey, stop! You just hit somebody!” to the “Beautiful” singer and his passenger, girlfriend Petra Nemcova, but they drove on.
Paramedics tended to the man’s injuries and transported him from the scene, Santos says. Police also interviewed witnesses.
Although Santos says the man appeared to be in pain, “I saw him the next day. He was walking around with a limp. He was at Ago, on La Cienega and Melrose. There was some sort of pre-Oscar party.”