Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner supported Bill 606 prohibiting paparazzi from harassing celebs' kids. California's governor signed the bill into law.
(Image source: Just Jared ) BY JASMINE BAILEY California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new bill into law Wednesday that will provide a little relief for celebrities and their kids who are constantly harassed by the paparazzi. Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner were key speakers in support of Bill 606, which was introduced in August. (Via ABC ) GARNER: “I love my kids, they’re beautiful and sweet and innocent. And I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, law-breaking photographers to continue traumatizing my kids.” (Via NBC ) BERRY: “The quality of my children’s life will be dramatically, dramatically changed. My daughter every day rejects going to school. Why? Because she knows ‘the men,’ as she now calls them, are waiting for her at her schoolyard.” (Via ITN ) Heated run-ins with the paparazzi are nothing new for these celebrity moms, along with many others. Berry argued with a pap last year after she spotted him camping out in front of her 5-year-old daughter’s school. (Via Bossip ) And earlier this month Garner was shopping with her kids when a man began to record it. She confronted him — sticking a camera in his face to give him a dose of his own medicine. (Via New York Daily News ) The new bill clarifies the term “harassment” and also strengthens the penalties for those who violate it. The bill prohibits “taking pictures or video of a child without their parents’ permission by following their parents or by lying in wait. So, basically, it’s exactly what the paparazzi does.” (Via Eye Opener ) “If convicted, photogs who harass celebrity children and their high-profile parents could get up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.” (Via MSNBC ) But of course, “Several media organizations oppose the bill, claiming that it’s just too broad.” (Via KXTV ) One of those organizations, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, argues the bill infringes on First Amendment rights. According to the Los Angeles Times , an attorney for the association is concerned the bill could “criminalize legitimate news gathering.” He says: “It’s what journalists do. They take pictures.” But California State Sen. Kevin de León says that’s not the case because the bill focuses on photographers’ conduct, not just taking photos. In a statement Berry, who spearheaded the celebrity testimonies, thanked fellow celebrity moms who supported the fight, saying, “I am forever in awe of the support I got within my community from the enormously talented musician Adele, to fellow actor Jennifer Garner, who traveled with me to Sacramento to share her children’s stories, experience, and her desire to give them a better life.” (Via Yahoo! ) The new law will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.