Berry, Garner back anti-paparazzi bill

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Hollywood moms Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner continued their campaign to keep paparazzi away from the children of celebrities on Tuesday, appearing at a legislative hearing in California to urge passage of a bill that would increase state penalties for harassing children.

In emotional testimony, Garner told members of a California Assembly committee that she and her children are followed wherever they go. “How often do we see a tragedy unfold and say, ‘Oh, there were so many warning signs — why didn’t anybody pay attention?’” said Garner, who has three children with actor Ben Affleck. “I am asking you as a parent to pay attention.”
The bill, which already has passed the state Senate, focuses on people who target children based on their parents’ occupations. The idea originated with a 1990s-era law protecting children of health clinic workers from harassment by anti-abortion activists.
It would increase penalties for doing so from a maximum of six months in jail to a maximum of one year, and increase the potential fine for doing so to $10,000, from the current $1,000. “I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatising my kids,” Garner told the Assembly Public Safety Committee, which voted to support the bill. “What this bill would do is give us our rights back so that we can protect our children,” Berry said.

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