A “Dancing With the Stars” alum has learned his fate after a run-in with a photographer in March 2022.
The incident happened in March 2022 when Nick Lachey and his wife Vanessa Lachey — both of whom previously competed on “Dancing With the Stars” — were leaving Mastro’s restaurant in Beverly Hills.
According to video footage shared by TMZ, Nick Lachey could be seen reaching into a car while a female photographer was sitting inside. Lachey appeared to try to grab a cell phone, which was around the woman’s neck.
Shortly after the incident took place, the woman in the car – identified as Jody Santos – filed a complaint with the Beverly Hills Police Department. Although Lachey wasn’t arrested, he has now accepted a deal with prosecutors to resolve the case without charges being filed.
“Mr. Lachey has not been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery. Instead, he is participating in LADA’s Prefiling Diversion program, which was established in 2017,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office told Heavy on March 22, 2023.
“As part of these conditions, he must participate in anger management classes and attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Successful completion of the Prefiling Diversion Program will result in no criminal charges being filed,” the district attorney’s office added.
Heavy has reached out to a rep for Nick Lachey for comment.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nick Lachey Denied Getting ‘Violent’
In TMZ’s report, the outlet accused Nick Lachey of becoming “violent,” which he denied on Twitter.
“Last night, after enjoying a great dinner with my wife and our dear friend, the paparazzi harassed us as we walked back to our hotel. I clearly overreacted. I’ve been in this game long enough to know that their antics are sadly part of the deal. Stupid of me. Done,” he tweeted the day after the incident.
“However, for TMZ or anyone else to say that I was violent or that I ‘got physical’ with someone is reckless and absolutely false. Once again, TMZ likes to crate their own clickbait narrative. Life’s too short, we move on,” he wrote in a subsequent tweet, which included a typo.
Lachey has not spoken out about the decision to have him complete anger management and AA in order to avoid prosecution.
Jody Santos Believes Nick Lachey Would Have Hit Her
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Santos explained that she felt threatened by Lachey during the incident.
“In all my years of photographing celebrities, no one has ever tried to hit me. I am just relieved that I rolled up my window as fast as I did, otherwise he would have knocked me out. No doubt about it,” she told the outlet. She explained that he was “punching the window” when she put it up.
According to Santos, Lachey must complete the Prefiling Diversion Program within a specific timeframe to avoid further legal action.
“He has to complete them within a reasonable time which is like a year or so. If he fails to do so, they will move forward to prosecute him with non-compliance and he will get arrested,” she explained.
Santos said that she hopes Lachey realizes that what he did was “not OK.”
“He needs to take accountability for his actions. It’s one thing to be violent towards a woman and call her foul names, and it’s another when you blame the other person and lie about what really happened. He twisted the truth and put the blame on me,” she said, adding, “Nick won’t be too happy when he gets snapped going to anger management classes. This all could have been avoided if Nick had just taken responsibility for his behavior. He is not above the law and as a father and a public figure, the least he can do is be a decent human being.”
Lachey and his wife, Vanessa, spend most of their time in Hawaii where they live with their three kids. The couple co-host the Netflix series “Love Is Blind,” while Vanessa Lachey stars on “NCIS: Hawaii.”
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