Update: The Los Angeles Times reports that Bill 606, was signed into law Wednesday by California Governor Jerry Brown. Photographers will no longer be allowed to “lie in wait” around celebrities while they’re with their children. Several media outlets are opposed to the bill, saying it will “criminalize legitimate news gathering.” Celebrity moms, weary of run-ins with harassing paps, are thrilled by the news. The law takes effect January 1, 2014.
How do we get such intimate, personal photos of the celebs we love? Paparazzi. Who has been known to inspire the wrath of celebrities when they get too close or go too far? Paparazzi. We love them and hate them, but for celebs like Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner, celebrity moms whose kids have been photographed by paparazzi since day one, those flashing lightbulbs are a daily nightmare.
According to ABC News, Garner and Berry recently testified at the California State Capitol today in support of a bill that would allow a court to fine or even sentence jail time to any paparazzo who photographs children of celebrities without the permission of a legal guardian.
“I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, law-breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are, all day every day, to continue to traumatize my kids,” Garner said, through tears.
The bill would modify the definition of harassment to anyone who “seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes” a child.
“Being stalked has been hard for me, but it’s beyond what a child should have to endure,” Berry says.
The 46-year-old X-Men actress and mother of 5-year-old Nahla with another child on the way mentioned an especially traumatizing instance in which a paparazzo explicitly harassed her daughter to the point of not wanting to return to preschool because she’s constantly trailed. She said at one point, they even spoke to Nahla, saying, “You may not see your father again. How do you feel about that?”
The bill was successfully passed and California State Assembly member and chairman of the committee Bob Wieckowski said, “I hope this is a nice gift to you from this committee.” The bill will now proceed to the Appropriations Committee.