Kanye West Claims Self-Defense Against Photographer Suing Him For Assault

09/23/2013 at 09:00 PM EDT

Kanye West Claims Self-Defense Against Photographer Suing Him For Assault
Kanye West and Daniel Ramos

Kanye West

Kanye West

Kanye West says that he grappled with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport because he feared for his safety.

The rapper was charged with criminal battery and attempted grand theft after he allegedly attacked videographer Daniel Ramos at LAX in July, but TMZ reports that the new dad – who is being sued by Ramos in a civil suit – claims he acted in self-defense, TMZ reports.

In papers filed by his lawyer, West, 36, claimed that "his safety was in immediate danger" when the photographer started asking him questions as he left the airport terminal and walked to a waiting car.

The altercation, which was captured on video and posted on TMZ, showed West accusing Ramos of trying to provoke him before he lunged at the paparazzo.

West claims in the filing that he was only doing what was "necessary for his self-defense and safety and was justified in doing those acts."

After the scuffle, West left the scene and an ambulance transported Ramos to the hospital. The rapper faces a maximum of one year in jail if convicted of the criminal charges.

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