Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Lisa Vance


The financial rewards of celebrity photos have driven the paparazzi to increasingly dangerous tactics, often endangering celebrities and others in their pursuit of a valuable photo. In response to this danger, California amended its anti-paparazzi statute in 2005. The amended statute provides stiff penalties, including punitive and treble damages, and allows a celebrity to recover these damages for assault. However, assault requires the intent to cause apprehension of imminent contact, and much of the outrageous conduct of the paparazzi does not evidence this sort of intent. If California is serious about curbing improper behavior by the paparazzi, it should penalize the behavior that is the source of the problem: negligently causing apprehension of contact.