Chris Martin, the Coldplay lead singer and "consciously uncoupled" former husband of actress and lifestyle guru Gwyneth Paltrow, allegedly struck a paparazzi photographer with his Jeep Wrangler SUV as he pulled out of the parking lot at a chi-chi restaurant in Santa Monica, California.
But did the incident really happen that way? Even dirt-dishing celebrity gossip sites are saying Monday that there's something not quite right about the way this supposed near-tragedy unfolded — and wondering if Martin might be the victim of some sort of shenanigans, or even a scam.
Martin was with his ex-wife Paltrow in the vehicle, along with the former couple's two children after dining at the high-end restaurant, when a photographer who had been stationed across the street apparently waiting for the famous family to emerge, dashed over to snap a closer shot of Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow together in the Jeep.
Shots of the pair in each other's company could be worth significant cash to tabloid media outlets, since the high-profile power couple split.
But one such tabloid media outlet, TMZ, took a look at the incident and noticed what it said were some anomalies in the alleged collision between Martin's vehicle and the photographer, who has not been named publicly.
The photographer's injuries were severe enough to require paramedics, and a trip to the hospital.
"Here's the weird thing. The photog who took pics of the accident was standing across the street. It's unclear why a cameraman would be so far away, because there was a clear shot of the family from the restaurant side... right on the sidewalk," TMZ observed. "In fact, three other photogs were perched right there."
In its story on the incident, TMZ — an organization which knows a thing or two about stalking celebrities — said that "We've never seen a photog take pics from across that street... so, as we said, it's weird he's the one who got shots of the accident. Also, he and the guy who allegedly got hit have worked together."
Giorgio Baldi is an eatery frequented by the Hollywood elite, so paparazzi and other gossip mavens are intimately familiar with the layout there.
As another Hollywood gossip site, Defamer, asked, "Was the photographer standing across the street in order to get a good picture of Chris Martin 'hitting' the other photographer with his Jeep?"
TMZ also noted that when the injured photographer was wheeled away, he appeared to look across the street directly at the photographer snapping pics from that vantage point.
Chris Martin has not yet issued any public comment on the incident. Video of the incident's aftermath can be viewed above.