Tuesday 17 September 2019

Scarlett Johansson blasts paparazzi and warns of new ‘Princess Diana’ incident

The actress said five cars ran red lights and put ‘other drivers and pedestrians at risk’ after her appearance on a US talk show.

Scarlett Johansson warned of another incident ‘like Princess Diana’ after alleging she was pursued through Los Angeles by a pack of paparazzi (Ian West/PA Wire)
Scarlett Johansson warned of another incident ‘like Princess Diana’ after alleging she was pursued through Los Angeles by a pack of paparazzi (Ian West/PA Wire)

By Keiran Southern, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

Scarlett Johansson warned of another incident “like Princess Diana” after alleging she was pursued through Los Angeles by a pack of paparazzi.

The Hollywood actress said she was leaving a studio following an appearance on US talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! when a group of photographers spotted her.

Johnasson said five cars with blacked-out windows ran red lights and put “other drivers and pedestrians at risk” so the paparazzi could find out where she and her child were staying.

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Scarlett Johansson has warned the behaviour of showbiz photographers is putting lives at risk (Ian West/PA Wire)

Johansson warned it is “a waiting game before another person gets seriously injured or killed, like Princess Diana”.

Diana, Princess of Wales and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were killed when the Mercedes they were travelling in crashed in Paris while they were being pursued by paparazzi.

Driver Henri Paul, who was also killed, was drunk and driving at high speed.

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Scarlett Johansson called for paparazzi to be criminalised (PA)

In a statement, Avengers: Endgame star Johansson said: “The paparazzi consistently go to increasingly dangerous lengths to stalk and harass the people they are photographing.

“Even after Princess Diana’s tragic death, the laws were never changed to protect targets from the lawless paparazzi.

“Many paparazzi have criminal pasts and will perform criminal acts to get their shot.”

Johansson, 34, and also known for starring in films such as Lost In Translation and Girl With A Pearl Earring, said she felt “it was my duty as a concerned citizen” to visit a nearby police station.

According to local reports, the actress did not file any charges and no crime was reported.

Johansson called for paparazzi to be classified as “criminal stalkers by law”.

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Diana, Princess of Wales was killed when the Mercedes she was travelling in crashed in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi (John Stillwell/PA)

She said: “Women across the US are stalked, harassed and frightened and a universal law to address stalking must be at the forefront of law enforcement conversations.

“Until paparazzi are considered by the law for the criminal stalkers they are, it’s just a waiting game before another person gets seriously injured or killed, like Princess Diana.”

In the US, celebrity news outlets are protected under the First Amendment, which enshrines into law the freedom of the press.

Different states have their own laws on photographers, for example in California it is illegal to take pictures of celebrities’ children in a harassing manner.

PA Media

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