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August 28, 2021

No Pictures PLEASE! Jackie Kennedy Flipped Down a Paparazzi on a Manhattan Sidewalk, 1969

Former First Lady Jackie Kennedy Onassis proved she was a force to be reckoned with when she used a Judo move on a member of the paparazzi, flipping him over on the sidewalk. Jackie was on her way back from the showing of I am Curious Yellow, a Swedish adult film when the incident occurred. Photographer Mel Finkelstein had received news that the former First Lady was inside the theater and waited with other members of the paparazzi to snap a photograph of Jackie.

When she came out of the film, photographers swarmed the former First Lady and followed her out to the sidewalk. Mrs. Onassis caught up with Finkelstein just outside the theatre. He shot another picture as she moved toward him.

“I thought she was going to say something,” Finkelstein said. “I never figured she would do anything physical. I had just finished snapping her picture. When she came toward me, grabbed my right arm, put her left leg out and flipped me right over, then walk away.”

Jackie, who was wearing a leather skirt and heels, grabbed Mel’s wrist and flipped him over her thigh when he came too close. Mel, who was five foot ten and 168 pounds, was stunned that Jackie had the strength to physically attack him.

Finkelstein, later said he was completely caught off guard. If a celebrity did this today to a photographer, you know there would be a major lawsuit. Jackie claimed he slipped! Finkelstein did not pursue the matter in court.

(Photo by Anthony Casale/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

(Photo by Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)




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