Photographing children of celebrities without the consent of their parents will now land the paparazzi in trouble, as the Halle Berry-backed anti-paparazzi bill has now become a law in California.
According to reports, state Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law earlier this week, and it will come into effect from Jan. 1, 2014.
It lays out stricter penalties for paparazzi if they take photographs and videos of stars’ children in a harassing manner and can land the paparazzo in jail for a period of one year in addition to a fine of about $10,000, Associated Press reported.
The fine amount will increase with multiple convictions.
“Kids shouldn't be tabloid fodder nor the target of ongoing harassment," Senator Kevin de Leon, who put forward the bill, told the media, adding that the new law "will give children, no matter who their parents are, protection from harassers who go to extremes to turn a buck."
Berry, who backed the bill after her 5-year-old daughter, Nahla, was intimidated by paparazzi who constantly followed them, issued a statement after the anti-paparazzi law was passed, saying she cannot “express my immense gratitude that Gov. Brown has recognized, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents."
She also thanked singer Adele and fellow actress Jennifer Garner for joining her in the fight for the anti-paparazzi law. "I am forever in awe of the support I got within my community from the enormously talented musician Adele to fellow actor Jennifer Garner, who traveled with me to Sacramento to share her children's stories, experience and her desire to give them a better life," Berry said in the statement.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.