California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill to give celebrities
more power to fight back at paparazzi who assault them while in pursuit of
The new law will come into force on Jan. 1, 2006, meaning dangerous
snappers face huge fines if they are found guilty of assaulting a star and may
have to hand over any income from photographs taken during an altercation with
the celebrity in question.
In June, teen singer/actress Lindsay Lohan suffered cuts and bruises
when her car was allegedly run off the road by paparazzo Galo Ramirez. The
photographer was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Last month, Reese Witherspoon allegedly witnessed snapper Todd
Wallace assault two Disneyland, California, employees as they attempted to
shield the actress from his “aggressive and frightening” behavior.
The incident took place only a month after the Legally Blonde star discovered
a group of paparazzi who allegedly “besieged” her outside her Los Angeles home
in April would not face criminal charges of false imprisonment.
In August, Scarlett Johansson claimed she was being chased by a
photographer when she crashed her Mercedes car into another vehicle outside
Disneyland. However, JFX Images snapper Mario Toruno denies her allegations,
claiming his behavior had nothing to do with the incident. No criminal charges
were filed in that case.
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