Unfortunately for the paparazzi, Halle Berry and Jennifer Garner find nothing funny about being constantly pursued by aggressive lens hounds; buzzing around them or their children.
Both actresses have been accosted, stalked, harassed, frightened and angered by camera men/women – attempting to get that once-in-a-lifetime shot, and who’ve shown no consideration for them or their children. Like others in Hollywood, these successful actresses are fully aware that fame can, and does, exact a heavy toll. And although they don’t like it, to them, it’s acceptable, at best, but not for their children.
On Tuesday, August 14th both Berry and Garner were in Sacramento, California to appear before a legislative committee in support of Senate Bill (SB) 606, which was proposed by Senator Kevin DeLeon, a Democrat from Los Angeles.
In short, the Bill:
1. Provides any person who intentionally harasses a child or
ward of any other person because of that person’s employment
shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not
less than 10 days but not exceeding one year.
2. Provides that a second conviction is a fine not exceeding
$10,000 and by imprisonment in a county jail for not less
than 30 days but not exceeding one year.
3. Provides that a third or subsequent conviction is a fine not exceeding
$10,000 and imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not less than 60 days
4. Specifies that harassment may include any actual or attempted
recording of the child’s image or voice without the written
consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian, by following
the child’s activities or lying in wait.
Berry and Garner have garnered much support from other Hollywood parents and friends who have experienced these same alarming invasions of privacy.
Garner is married to actor Ben Affect. They married in 2005 after meeting on the set of Daredevil, a film which they were working on together. They have 3 children; Violet, 7, Seraphina, 4, and Samuel, 15 months. At the hearing on the 14th, Garner asked the Assembly to “just listen.”
Berry who recently married French actor, Olivier Martinez, is expecting her first child with him during the upcoming months. She already has a five-year-old daughter named Nahla with ex-boyfriend Gabriel Aubry.
This past April, Berry, and her then fiancé, Olivier Martinez, got into a shouting match with paparazzi as they surrounded them at the Los Angeles International Airport, frightening her 5 year old daughter, Nahla.
The actresses said they appeared before the legislative committee as mothers concerned for the safety of their children, who aren’t celebrities. Garner said she made the decision to have a public life when she chose her career, but her children are private citizens, just like anyone else’s.
Berry stated that she was trying to “protect her children and protect their rights,” and that the constant presence of photographers makes her young daughter afraid to go to school.”
“As mothers, she continued, “as parents, we don’t have the wherewithal or the law in place right now to protect them from this,” Berry said. “What this bill would do is give us our rights back so that we can protect our children.”
Written By DeBorah Heggs-Alston