Halle Berry and Tom Cruise are two celebrities winning the fight to protect their children’s rights against invasion of privacy by the media.
According to Law.com, invasion of privacy is “The intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded.” It further notes, while the law protects the children, because they are private citizens, their famous parents and their activities are fair game because they are of interest to the public and therefore newsworthy.
Berry took her plight to protect her daughter against invasion of privacy to the government. In the 2013 Celebrity Yahoo article, “Halle Berry Comes Out Swinging Against Paparazzi for Terrorizing Her Daughter,” Berry testified before the California State legislature in an attempt to get a bill passed that restricts photojournalists from taking unauthorized pictures of the children of celebrities and public figures.
She is fighting for this legislature for her daughter Nahla, 5. Berry claimed her daughter is in fear for her life from the paparazzi. Berry said, “My daughter doesn’t want to go to school because she knows ‘the men’ are watching for her.” She added, “They jump out of the bushes and from behind cars and who knows where else, besieging these children just to get a photo.”
Another celebrity who is winning against invasion of privacy is Tom Cruise. According to reuters.com, he settled a$50 million case against a German media outlet for defamation. The Reuters article, states the German media outlet published a story saying Cruise abandoned his daughter Suri after he and actress Katie Holmes divorced.
According to USA Today, State Senator Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles sponsored the bill that has now become law in the State of California. The law enforces greater penalties against its violators harassing and taking photos and videos of children without the parents consent.
Public Relations professionals seek out media for exposure for their celebrity clients. Los Angeles based Edna Sims, owner of the boutique PR agency, ESP PR says, “There is also criminal law in California that a photographer can be sent to prison for trying to take a picture of a celebrity or public figure while that person is driving a vehicle.” As stated on rcfp.org, the web site for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the press, the law also penalizes photographers for trespassing in attempt to take photos of celebrities.
Sims’ company handles red carpet events. Her past and current clients include Kim Kardashian and The Gracie Awards. Sims likes to use the paparazzi to her client’s advantage. “Many celebrities don’t even walk the red carpet anymore awards shows because of the aggressive paparazzi.” To counter, I will go where paparazzi hangs out. Here in LA, that’s popular lunch spots like Mr. Chow or The Ivy…and I’ll go get them and tell them, ‘I’ll have Kim Kardashian on the Red Carpet this Friday.’ And they are shocked. I tell them they can come, as long as they stay on the red carpet at the event.”
Kia Glenn, an Atlanta based publicist who has done damage control for her clients states, “I had a married client who was caught in a compromising position. His reputation was compromised when online media leaked the story. We did damage control to keep this Christian artist’s career in tact. However, this was indeed an invasion of privacy in my client’s personal life.”
She adds, “The client did not sue the media that published this unconfirmed information because he is a celebrity and not subject to the same rules as a private citizen. But still, that doesn’t mean it did not hurt his family.”
The right to privacy in legal terms simply means the right to be left alone. An invasion of that right can bring about grounds for a lawsuit.