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New law cracks down on paparazzi

New law cracks down on paparazzi

Actress Jennifer Garner, right, describes how paparazzi aggressively follow her and her three children daily, while testifying before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in August. Garner and actress Halle Berry, left, urged lawmakers to approve the bill, which changes the definition of harassment to include photographing a child without the permission of a legal guardian. Photo: Associated Press/AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation intended to crack down on the paparazzi.

The bill increases penalties on those who harass the children of public figures, including taking photos and video of them without consent.

Actresses Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner testified in support of the bill. The actresses said their children are intimidated by aggressive photographers that follow them on a daily basis.

The bill also makes it easier for parents to sue for damages over harassment.

Berry, who is pregnant, also has a 5-year-old daughter.

In a statement, Berry said, “I started this fight with a great deal of hope and a bit of uncertainty so I cannot express my immense gratitude that Governor Brown has recognized, and acted to remedy, the plight of children who are tormented because of the identity or prominence of their parents. 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 takes effect Jan. 1.

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