Halle Berry backed anti-paparazzi bill becomes law
- 27 September 2013
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
New legislation which will limit the paparazzi's ability to photograph stars' children has become law in the state of California.
Bill 606, championed by actress Halle Berry, who testified before the state assembly, sets out to protect the children of those in the public eye.
It lays out penalties for taking photos and video of a child without parental consent and in a harassing manner.
It would be "the beginning of the end," Berry said, for "aggressive paparazzi".
Earlier this week, it was signed into California law by state governor Jerry Brown.
"I started this fight with a great deal of hope and a bit of uncertainty so I cannot express my immense gratitude that Gov. Brown has recognized, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents," said Berry.
The Academy award-winning actress was seen shouting at photographers taking pictures of her family after arriving at Los Angeles International airport in April, with her partner Olivier Martinez and her daughter.
Pregnant Berry also thanked actress Jennifer Garner and British singer Adele for joining her in her fight.
"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."
The law comes into effect in January. Those breaking it could receive between 10 days and one year in jail, as well as a fine of up to $10,000 (£6,252).
The bill also allows for parents to bring a civil action against violators to seek damages and legal fees.
"Kids shouldn't be tabloid fodder," said Senator Kevin de Leon, who put forward the bill, adding that the new law "will give children, no matter who their parents are, protection from harassers who go to extremes to turn a buck".
The Motion Picture Association of America was among several groups that opposed the legislation, saying it infringes upon free speech protections.
Mr De Leon's office claimed the bill does not infringe on First Amendment rights because it targets the photographer's conduct, not the act of taking a photograph.
Other organisations in opposition include the National Press Photographers Association and the California Broadcasters Association.
"It is for all of us that I rejoice today and hope that this fight will continue and that the proper enforcement of this law will truly make a positive impact on the daily lives of all children," said Berry.