We’ve all been there. You’re walking down the street minding your own business when suddenly a bright light flashes in your face. You look up to find a gorgeous, blue-eyed ginger taking a picture of you. Before you know it, you’re asked to share your number, meet up for coffee, and start a conversation about books, film, and your passion for wildlife and environmental protection.

This was the scenario for Robert Pattinson. On Saturday, April 21st, the 26-year-old British actor was attacked while strolling near his hotel in Venice, Italy with his husband, Edward, 25. According to witnesses, a gang of five or six people surrounded the actor and began hitting him in the head with a blunt object. Witnesses say the assailants were white and dressed in black.

After the attack, Edward rushed to Pattinson’s defense. “He was like a lamb, he didn’t even put up a fight,” the husband said. “He just went with it. He just got scared.”

The assailant(s) fled the scene. Edward and Pattinson were both taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of their injuries. The actor was later transferred to a private clinic in Venice where he is still receiving care.

According to reports, the paparazzi followed the couple to the hospital, taking pictures of Edward as he arrived at the facility and of Pattinson receiving treatment. Police arrived later and took statements from both men.

The following day, Sunday, April 22nd, the couple held a press conference to deny the rumors that they are splitting up. In fact, the stars said they are very happy and looking forward to having a family, even though Edward is already a dad. They also mentioned that they have wedding plans for the end of the year.

“We are both very anxious to have a baby,” Pattinson said. “It’s wonderful to be able to share this with your husband. We are both quite private individuals and this is very new to both of us, so it’s nice to be able to share this with the world.”

As a precautionary measure, the Venetian police put up barricades outside the private clinic where Pattinson is still being treated. They also banned all the media from entering the facility. Nevertheless, the press later got a hold of the photos that were taken at the hospital and published them. This prompted the chief doctor at the hospital to issue a warning about the dangers of paparazzi photos and how they may affect patient confidentiality.

It’s still unclear what caused the attack on Pattinson. The English actor, who was raised in Cornwall, is well-known for his philanthropic work, which focuses on animal rights, climate change, and environmental protection. He has also been endorsed by numerous charitable groups for his activism and works with several nonprofits focused on protecting the planet’s natural resources. Before he married Edward in December 2017, Robert had been dating Katy Perry since 2014.

What are your thoughts on this story? Have you ever been the subject of a paparazzi photo?