Did anyone see the E! News report on the dustup? At the very end of it, they showed footage of some sort of mishap that caused an explosive sound during what must have been an attempt to interview Ricki. Anyway, Derek, who had apparently just been interviewed, was behind Ricki and to her right, and jumped when he heard the sound. But he jumped to the right, which made it look like he was jumping behind Ricki for protection (I'm sure he wasn't--but it made me laugh when he reacted on reflex and ended up looking as if he'd done that). Then Ricki looked around for him and, again, reflexively, I think, jumped in front of him, as if protecting him, and Derek then tried to jump in front of her as protective male. It all looked like something from Three's Company.
Honestly, I'm not trying to be mean. I don't think Derek was being cowardly or Ricki was deliberately trying to be the protective Mama Bear. It's just that the way in which they were caught in the frame of the shot at the time made it look just that silly. I suspect they may think it looked funny if they saw it too.