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20 years after Princess Diana’s death, paparazzi culture is still out of control

20 years after Princess Diana’s death, paparazzi culture is still out of control
[Photo: Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images]

People around the world today are remembering Princess Diana of Wales, who died 20 years ago after a car crash in Paris—an event that brought worldwide attention on the vulturous paparazzi who made her life a living hell. In the decades since that event, there have been numerous attempts to rein in aggressive photographers on both sides of the Atlantic–both through industry self-regulation and government legislation. California Senator Dianne Feinstein first proposed a federal anti-paparazzi law as early as 1998, though it never got very far. On the state level, California has passed numerous laws aimed at curbing the behavior of unscrupulous shutterbugs, most recently in 2013 with a law meant to prevent paparazzi from harassing celebrities’ children—because who does that?

Alas, despite these efforts, paparazzi culture is still alive and well. Here are just a few examples from recent memory:

  • July 2017: George Clooney threatened to sue after a French tabloid published photos of Amal Clooney’s twin babies.
  • July 2017: TMZ video shows paparazzi surrounding Justin Bieber‘s pickup truck. The singer accidentally hits one of them.
  • 2016: Paparazzi take poor-quality photos of a bikini-clad Catherine Zeta-Jones on a Mexican beach. The actress gets her revenge by posting better photos of herself on Instagram.
  • 2013: U.K. paparazzi took numerous “private moments” photos of Adele‘s then-infant son, Angelo Adkins. A lawyer sued photo agency Corbis Images U.K. on behalf of Angelo, who won a five-figure settlement.
  • 2012: Paparazzi snap photos of a topless Kate Middleton while she was vacationing in the south of France, an incident that drew comparisons to their treatment of Diana. She and Prince William sued over the incident. The case is ongoing.

CZ