Wednesday, March 12, 2014
With dozens of journalists tailing her every move, Academy Award-winner Halle Berry appeared at the California Capitol on Tuesday to testify for a bill that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph the children of celebrities and public figures.
The Associated Press
"My daughter doesn't want to go to school because she knows 'the men' are watching for her," the actor told the Assembly Committee on Public Safety. "They jump out of the bushes and from behind cars and who knows where else, besieging these children just to get a photo."
Berry, who is pregnant, said she was speaking in favor of the anti-harassment bill by Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, as a "mother of a daughter and the baby boy in my belly."
"If it passes, the quality of my life and my children's lives will be dramatically changed," she said.
The committee obliged, and the bill now goes to the Assembly Judiciary Committee, where supporters promised to clarify language that would protect the First Amendments rights of journalists gathering news.
"It's a broad definition to harass," Assembly Member Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, said in calling for the explanation.
The bill would change the definition of harassment to include 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.
It also increases the penalties for people convicted of such behavior. Anyone convicted of a first offense could spend between 10 days and a year in jail. It also allows civil lawsuits to be filed.
Chris Brown charged with hit-and-run
The Los Angeles city attorney's office has charged singer Chris Brown with misdemeanor hit-and-run and driving without a valid license.
City attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan says the charges filed Tuesday involve a minor accident on May 21 in the San Fernando Valley.
If convicted, Brown would face up to one year in jail.
Mateljan says the county district attorney's office will be notified of the charges and it will be up to that office and the courts to determine if the case will have any effect on Brown's felony probation in the 2009 beating of singer Rihanna.