Halle Berry Testifies For California To Keep Paparazzi From Harassing Celebrities' Children

 @TreyeGreen t.green@ibtimes.com
on June 25 2013 11:01 PM

Actress Halle Berry shared her struggles with the paparazzi as she testified Tuesday in support of California legislation that severely clamps down on the guerrilla photographers.
 
According to the Los Angeles Times, Berry shared her daily struggles with photographers as part of a hearing on the bill, SB 606, which would help protect the children of celebrities and public officials from being hounded by photographers. 
 
The Hollywood star said her 5-year-old daughter fears leaving their home each day. 
 
"[Photographers] jump out of bushes, they jump out of cars, they come from behind buildings, who knows where they come from," she said. "They cause chaos, they cause fear."
 
Berry specifically cited an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in April when her daughter, fiancé and she were surrounded by paparazzi as they returned from a Hawaiian vacation. 
 
Tempers flared during the encounter, with E! News reporting Berry's fiancé Olivier Martinez got into a physical altercation with a photographer, kicking him in the leg and wrist. 
 
"Are they trying to kill us?" she remembered her daughter asking.
 
The bill was approved by the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It redefines harassment to include photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian -- the current definition just covers any activity that that "seriously alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes" a person. After one conviction, an offender faces jail time from 10 days to one year. Civil suits can also be filed if violations of the law occur. 
 
But some of the bill's critics fear it is too broad and have deemed it "unconstitutionally vague" as well as it may deter news-gathering by journalists. 
 
This is a concern the bill's author, Sen. Kevin de Leon isn't too worried about. Still he welcomes the idea of reworking parts of the bill. 
 
"Everyone has the right under the Constitution to take a picture," he told reporters "But you cross the line when you physically intimidate and harass an individual -- in this case, a child."
 

Share this article