We love pouring over images of celebrities and their kids. Pictures of Suri’s new toddler heels are critiqued more extensively than a piece of Van Gogh artwork. But, have we ever really thought of what it feels like to be seven years old and have paparazzi in your face, screaming, grabbing and snapping your photo? According to Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry, whose children are popular tabloid targets, the experience is quite terrifying and pretty much feels like stalking.
The two celebrities testified yesterday before the Assembly Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that would protect celebrity children from photographer harassment. Garner delivered a teary testimonial in which she confessed that it’s like her three youngsters “have a bounty on their heads.”
“Literally everyday there are as many as fifteen cars of photographers waiting outside our home,” Garner said. “In the course of our ordinary day — trips to school, pediatrician, ballet or the grocery store — paparazzi swarm. Large aggressive men swarm us causing a mob scene, yelling, jockeying for a position, crowding around the kids.
“My 17-month-old baby is terrified and cries. My four-year-old says, ‘Why do these men never smile? Why do they never go away? Why are they always with us?’”
The bill, written by State Senator Kevin de Leon, will increase financial penalties and jail time for harassing children under 16 and will expand the definition to include photographing or recording a kid without permission of the legal guardian. It would also allow parents to file for restraining orders against specific paparazzi and to sue them for upsetting their children. In addition, the motion would forbid photographers from “following the child’s activities or lying in wait.” A.K.A., no more jumping out of trees to score a money shot.
While we’re all for celebrity babies’ safety, we still really love looking at photos of them wearing better outfits than we do and holding their famous parents’ hands. Maybe there’s a way for paparazzi to harass kids with stuffed animals instead of with cameras while taking their photos? Take a look at the entire trial, but be warned – this really takes the fun out of debating who has the cuter baby. We’re hoping they reach a fair compromise so we can still watch Gwen Stefani dress her son in women’s clothing.
Via: Hollywood Reporter, Photo Courtesy: WENN