Leonardo DiCaprio's Bodyguards Clash with Photogs in Israel
Photographers are issued a restraining order after surrounding the actor and his girlfriend
Israeli police arrested two members of Leonardo DiCaprio’s security team and several photographers were slapped with a restraining order after an altercation during a visit to a holy site in Jerusalem on Monday.
“Two of his [DiCaprio’s] security guards were arrested by police after being involved in a fight that broke out,” Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told local newspaper Haaretz.
DiCaprio, 32, and his girlfriend, model Bar Refaeli, 21, were taking a private tour of the Western Wall tunnels, next to Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, in the Old City of Jerusalem, Haaretz reports.
According to Rosenfeld, a crowd of photographers was waiting outside the tunnels for the couple to emerge when the trouble occurred.
“They were leaving and were heading to their van,” a source close to DiCaprio tells PEOPLE. “Paparazzi were everywhere. The photographers were jumping all around them and surrounding them. It was not a safe situation.”
DiCaprio was photographed with his head down and face obscured by a black hat, surrounded by guards amid the melee. The couple were bundled into a waiting white van, which sped from the area.
According to the source, two bodyguards stayed behind and had an altercation with the paparazzi. Some photographers then told the police they’d been assaulted, the source says.
The bodyguards were questioned by police and then released, says the source, adding, “The police then decide to slap this group of paparazzi with a 30-day restraining order to stay away from Leo and Bar.”
The couple encountered paparazzi at another stop on their visit. “They also visited the Yad Vashem [Holocaust memorial] museum, which was closed off to other visitors,” Eran Swissa, a journalist for Israeli newspaper Maariv, tells PEOPLE. “Herds of photographers tried to take photos but the couple didn’t let them.”
Refaeli’s mother Tsipi said in a statement, “We are saddened [by] this incident and [that] instead of … being proud of the fact that Leo came to see the Jewish heritage the photographers are dealing with unimportant issues. In spite of that, we are having a wonderful time and so is Leo.”
The couple, who have been linked for nearly a year, had arrived in Israel amid much fanfare by the Israeli media – partly because local girl Refaeli has snagged one of Hollywood’s most eligible men.
“They arrived on Sunday morning and her father Rafi was in the car that took them from a private exit in the airport to the family home,” Swissa says. “Leo was in the front with the baseball hat and Bar was the back and both were hiding from all of the photographers outside the house.”
The couple had tried to fly quietly into Israel on Sunday, but their night flight from Frankfurt, Germany, happened to be carrying a group of Israeli entertainment reporters on their way back from a press junket in Ireland, according to the Associated Press.
Refaeli’s family’s home in a Tel Aviv suburb was surrounded by photographers, at TV host Guy Pines even rented a helicopter to cover the scene – a first for Israeli media coverage, he told the AP.
Refaeli recently posed in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. “At the end of the day,” the rocker told the magazine, “it really is all about the girl.”
DiCaprio and Refaeli are expected to leave the Middle Eastern country on Tuesday or Wednesday. “All of Israel is very exited about having Leo here,” says Swissa.