Photographer Accuses TV ‘Fixer’ of Violent Run-In

ROCKLAND, N.Y. (CN) – Will Ray Donovan be able to fix this one? 

Photographer Sherwood Martinelli sued “Ray Donovan” star Liev Schreiber in Rockland County Supreme Court Tuesday, claiming the actor hit him and broke his camera. 

In June 2018 Martinelli, now 63, said he went to the set of the TV show, which frequently films in his town of Nyack, New York — about 30 miles north of New York City — to check out the scene and take photos. He said he was standing on a public sidewalk, giving restaurant recommendations to crew members, when a black vehicle pulled up and Schreiber, now 51, got out. 

“I assumed [Schreiber] was coming up to get food,” Martinelli said in an interview Wednesday, since crew members had placed a food cart nearby.

“And then as he started to get closer to me, he’s literally ducking and diving like he’s a boxer … he lowers his shoulder and charges into me, hitting my right shoulder.”

Martinelli said Schreiber knocked his camera out of his hand, “screaming and yelling.” According to the photographer, his lens broke and the camera no longer turns on. He probably won’t get it fixed, because friends have advised him that big camera repairs tend to be expensive and don’t last long.

Martinelli said he did nothing to invite the attack except carry a camera with a long lens, which he says he uses for wildlife photography – although he concedes it could be misconstrued as a paparazzi lens. He also said Schreiber had verbally confronted him on set about a month earlier, demanding that Martinelli get out of his line of sight. 

“That was my first interaction of what I would consider a more negative type [with Schreiber],” Martinelli said.

“I would never follow him around,” he added, “but when he’s on a set on a public street in the town that I live, I’m gonna take pictures.” 

He said he does not sell the photos, but posts them on social media or emails them to friends.  

It was the first of two physical attacks Martinelli says he suffered last summer, “both related to the filming of ‘Ray Donovan.’” 

The Showtime crime drama follows fictional celebrity fixer Ray Donovan, played by Schreiber, as he gets his clients out of trouble using bribes and threats.

Entertainment One and Showtime Networks are co-defendants in the suit, as well as Geoffrey Torrens, co-owner of O’Donoghue’s (OD’s) Tavern, a bar and restaurant where the show frequently films. 

Tuesday’s civil suit is Martinelli’s second attempt to get the justice he feels owed – he filed criminal charges for second-degree harassment against Schreiber last summer, which Schreiber denied and a judge later threw out. 

Martinelli claims that in July 2018, roughly a month after his encounter with Schrieber, Torrens stormed into a restaurant called Broadway Bistro where Martinelli was having dinner and hit him in the shoulder. 

“I was sitting at the bar finishing a glass of Malbec when he literally came in off the street and attacked me in a restaurant,” Martinelli said.  

“‘How dare you press charges against Liev Schreiber,’” Martinelli quoted Torrens as saying. “And then [he] told me I needed to get the fuck out of town.” 

Martinelli said locals tend to bow down to anyone involved with the TV show that frequently films there. He also said the police prioritize protecting the actors and filming crews over the citizens of Nyack.

The Village of Nyack does not have its own police department, but a clerk there confirmed the Orangetown Police Department covers “Ray Donovan” filming. Police representatives in Orangetown could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

Martinelli said Torrens’ blow, on top of the bang-up from Schreiber, caused injuries requiring physical therapy and triggered his post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from childhood abuse.

The suit doesn’t ask for specific money damages, and Martinelli says they aren’t his first priority.

“[Schreiber] of all people should know that you don’t treat people that way, especially if you don’t know the person you’re treating that way has gone through some similar things you’ve gone through,” Martinelli said. 

The actor has revealed details in media interviews of a difficult childhood, telling Men’s Journal that he lived in a flat without electricity or warm water as a child and endured a fierce custody battle between his parents. 

“So for starters,” Martinelli continued, “I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anybody else.” 

Neither Martinelli’s attorney, Funsho Ilori of Sobo & Sobo, nor Jonathan Rippes, who represented Schreiber in the harassment case, immediately returned requests for comment Wednesday.

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