California Lawmakers Lay the Smackdown on Paparazzi
It’s only fitting that a bill cracking down on the paparazzi’s relentless pursuit of celebrities’ images, words and startled reactions in supermarket parking lots (“they’re just like us!”) was passed by the California Assembly on the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and only awaited approval from Arnold Schwarzenegger to become law. –KA
Under the legislation, photographers who break traffic laws or interfere with the operation of a celebrity’s car can receive a maximum $5,000 fine — and one year imprisonment.
Tuesday is the 13th anniversary of the 1997 death of Princess Diana, which was widely attributed to a high speed chase between a car ferrying the princess and photographers.
The bill originated in and passed the Assembly in June, then was modified by the Senate. It passed Tuesday’s Assembly reconfirmation vote 43-13.
It now heads to Gov. Schwarzenegger for a signature. Boosters of the bill speculated that the governor would sign the act into law, noting that he and his wife were themselves driven off the road by paparazzi in 1997.