Anti-paparazzi bill signed into law

Paparazzi and others who harass the children of public figures will face tougher penalties under legislation that California’s governor has signed. The bill will boost penalties for actions that include taking photos and video of a child without consent and in a harassing manner.
Celebrities such as actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner urged legislators to support the bill. Berry testified before several legislative committees that her daughter has been intimidated by aggressive photographers who follow them daily, often shouting as they snap pictures. “On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress. 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 travelled with me to Sacramento to share her children’s stories, experience and her desire to give them a better life,” Berry said in a statement. The measure also will help protect the children of police officers, judges and others, who might be susceptible to harassment or unwanted attention due to their parents’ occupations, de Leon said. Under the legislation, which goes into effect in January, violators could face up to a year in county jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Fines would increase for subsequent convictions. The bill, signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Jerry Brown, also allows for parents to bring a civil action against violators to seek damages and attorney’s fees.
Media organisations, including the California Newsp-aper Publishers Associ-ation, opposed the legislation, saying it was overly broad and could restrict legitimate news gathering activities.

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