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paparazzi, Los Angeles
Chris Weeks/AP

L.A. Targets Paparazzi, Further Complicating Relationship with Celebrities

August 01, 2008 09:46 AM
by Shannon Firth
City officials are considering developing new ordinances to protect celebrities from the notorious photographers that follow them.

30-Second Summary

Dennis Zine, a Los Angeles city councilman, and a group of representatives from celebrity enclaves such as Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Malibu and Calabasas, met Thursday to develop new laws against “aggressive photographers.”

“Their goal is for each city to adopt its own ordinances to punish aggressive paparazzi, while keeping the rules uniform in the places where celebrities live, work and play,” Time magazine reports.

Celebrities have had run-ins—sometimes violent ones—with the paparazzi for years.
A week ago, Halle Berry announced plans to sue a photographer who took photos of her and her baby girl in her backyard. In 2007, Julia Roberts chased down one photographer for taking pictures of her children at their school.

The paparazzi’s presence the night of Princess Diana’s death in a car crash in 1997 was highly controversial. During the 2007 inquest into the accident, Lord Justice Scott Baker said Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were “unlawfully killed” by their intoxicated driver as well as the “behaviour of a gaggle of freelance press snappers following closely behind.”

In the early ’70s, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis filed a counter-claim against Donald Galella, a freelance photographer who, according to Onassis, “intentionally inflicted emotional distress and engaged in a campaign of harassment” by taking photos of her and her children.

Brandy Navarre, Vice President of X17 Photography, however, believes that celebrities need the paparazzi, though she prefers the term “celebrity journalists.” Navarre writes, “The publicists are realizing that this whole paparazzi machine is probably not something you should fight.”

Headline Links: Benching the paparazzi in Los Angeles and surrounding towns

Background: Onassis, Diana and Roberts; history of celebrity

Opinion & Analysis: Diana’s inquest; the benefits of paparazzi


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