Halle Berry Testifies About Anti-Paparazzi Bill, Says Her Daughter Is Afraid of ‘The Men’
Actress Halle Berry testified in California yesterday (June 25) about a bill that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph the children of celebrities and public figures, mentioning her own daughter’s fears to help make her point.
“My daughter doesn’t want to go to school because she knows ‘the men’ are watching for her,” the (currently pregnant) actress and mother told the Assembly Committee on Public Safety about 5-year-old Nahla.
“They jump out of the bushes and from behind cars and who knows where else, besieging these children just to get a photo.”
Halle also told of a time her family was surrounded by 50 photographers blocking their exit. “[My daughter] asked ‘Mommy, are they going to kill us?’ She didn’t get to sleep until 3 a.m. because she can’t get this out of her mind and she doesn’t understand what just happened to her … If [the bill] passes, the quality of my life and my children’s lives will be dramatically changed.”
The bill’s next stop will be the Assembly Judiciary Committee, where it will be edited to fix some wording problems — specifically, the definition of the term “harassment,” which is currently in the bill as “photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian by following the child or guardian’s activities or by lying in wait.”
While many applaud the bill, still others are worried it could affect the average citizen with a cell phone, especially considering violators could spend between 10 days and a year in jail.
“It sweeps legitimate newsgathering activities into the new definition of harassment and exposes everyday activities that journalists do to criminal and civil liability,” lamented Jim Ewert of the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Ironically, when Berry was done testifying, the Academy Award-winning actress was escorted into a private elevator — with a pack of paparazzi hot on her heels.