California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on September 24 that puts restrictions on paparazzi when it comes to children of celebrities. The bill, called Senate Bill 606, was introduced by California Senator Kevin de Leon, with actress Halle Berry being a big supporter.
The new bill states that if a paparazzi is caught photographing or videotaping a child in a harassing way because of their parent’s employment, such as them being a celebrity, they will be charged with a misdemeanor and face up to a year in county jail instead of the current six months. They will also be fined $10,000 for their first violation, $20,000 for a second violation and up to $30,000 for a third violation.
Berry and actress Jennifer Garner both testified before a panel of California legislators in August about the danger that the paparazzi can create around their children by yelling and screaming at them just to get a photograph. They also stated how they fear for their children’s safety because of the paparazzi.
Berry released a statement through her publicist after it was announced that the bill had been signed, “On behalf of my children, it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end for those overly aggressive paparazzi whose outrageous conduct has caused so much trauma and emotional distress.”
The law also makes it easier for parents of the children who are harassed to press charges. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2014.