Lindsay, Cameron, Justin in Photog Fight
Lindsay Lohan, Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake
Jeff Kravitz/Filmmagic; Ramey
After a paparazzo crashed his minivan into Lindsay Lohan's new Mercedes last week in what Los Angeles police called an intentional collision, the star is joining with Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and other stars in working with authorities to stem the tide of overaggressive – and law-breaking – photographers.
"A line needs to be drawn in terms of getting violent," Lohan, 18, tells The New York Times. "It was a very frightening experience."
"The concern is that because of these hyper-aggressive tactics on the part of the paparazzi, someone is going to get hurt or killed," William W. Hodgman, head of the district attorney's target crimes division, also tells the newspaper.
Among tactics employed by this new breed of hungry paparazzi is to box in celebrities and trap them for the cameras, The Times reports. While acknowledging the photographers' First Amendment rights, officials say that laws must also be implemented to protect celebrities against such criminal acts as false imprisonment or assault with a deadly weapon. The latter charge has been filed against Galo Cesar Ramirez, 24, whose minivan crashed into Lohan's coupe.
"The last thing you want to sound like is a crybaby," Halle Berry tells The Times. "I do understand the First Amendment and I understand the right of the paparazzi. I think the problem is they are crossing the line."
In the past, especially in Los Angeles and New York, professional photographers kept a safe distance from their celebrity subjects. "They weren't always as invasive," says Berry. "You weren't chased at high speeds through the streets where you endangered other lives and other innocent people who really don't know what the heck is going on."
Diaz said she used to be able to go to "the dry cleaners or to grocery stores" and not be bothered. However, "In the last few years, it's gotten to the point where you literally cannot walk outside your front gate without being literally attacked." Reese Witherspoon, who has found herself in similar situations, has taken to carrying her own video camera to document the photographers' behavior.
In response to such criticism, Boris Nizon, owner of Fame Pictures, tells The Times: "We obey the law, and we work really professionally." As for Lindsay Lohan's car crash: "It was an accident. If somebody is responsible for the whole thing, it's most likely Lindsay, who has nearly one a month, an accident."