Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner would like stricter legislation to protect their children from paparazzi. Both actresses testified to a panel of California lawmakers to encourage the passing of SB606, a bill that would punish paparazzi who harass celebrities with their children if it’s done without their consent.
During Garner’s testimony, the Associated Press writes that she almost broke down in tears as she described the way paparazzi “aggressively” follow her and her three children to places like school and the pediatrician’s office. She said that her children shouldn’t be punished for her decision to get into acting.
“I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, law-breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are, all day, every day, to continue to traumatize my kids,” Garner argues.
The bill, which comes from Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), would change the definition of harassment to include following or lying in wait for children in order to photograph or record them without the consent of their legal guardian. If people are convicted on these charges, the bill also increases the penalties leveled against them.
Those against the bill say they are concerned it will restrict journalists doing legitimate reporting. De Leon says he expects pending amendments will get rid of concerns about the bill. As for Berry and Garner, they just want to protect their children.
“As mothers, as parents, we don’t have the wherewithal or the law in place right now to protect them from this,” Berry says. “What this bill would do is give us our rights back so that we can protect our children.”