Metallica Photographer Reveals The Illegal Act He Committed For James Hetfield

Last May, Robert Trujillo joined a Q&A session for Ross Halfin’s 2021 book ‘Metallica: The Black Album in Black & White’ in France. During the chat, he and Halfin recalled when the photographer used bribery to help James Hetfield dodge the paparazzi, which Metallica recently shared on its official YouTube channel.

While looking at his and the vocalist’s picture at the Mexico City pyramids, Trujillo jokingly said:

“James and I trying to climb the pyramids and not doing a very good job of it.”

Upon that, the photographer chipped in and recounted:

“Actually, I remember that day. We were followed by about a hundred paparazzi, and they wouldn’t go away, and James was firm. ‘I’m not doing pictures,’ and I said, ‘Look, why don’t you line up? I’ll talk to them. We do a picture.’ He said, ‘No, it’s our day off. I’m not doing it.'”

Then, he asked the Metallica bassist whether he remembered this situation, and Trujillo said that he didn’t know this was how the talk went. With that, Halfin went on to reveal his solution:

“Yeah, yeah! He actually said, ‘Look, I’m not giving into this,’ which I respect him for completely. But then, eventually, I remember, at the end of the day – because there was a little tourists there – I said, ‘I know,’ and I went and bribed the guide, the guard a hundred dollars. That’s why there’s no one there.”

After the story was finished, Trujillo commented on it by adding:

“We had the pyramids to ourselves because Ross gave the guy a hundred bucks. What can you ask for?”

Hetfield faced a similar privacy issue once again during a family vacation in Uruguay on Christmas Day 2011. When the paparazzi kept taking photos of him and his son despite his warnings, he threw pebbles at them, as reported by Ultimate Classic Rock.

Despite receiving backlash after the incident, the vocalist explained his stance on privacy in a 2016 talk with iHeartRadio. Speaking of meeting fans, he said:

“I don’t do photos, I don’t sign, I will shake your hand, and I’ll talk with you for five minutes. I’d rather do that and leave that kind of impression than someone just stealing a little piece of your privacy.”

You can check out Ross Halfin’s Q&A session in the video below.