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After a recent incident that left her shaken, the actress is issuing a warning about the hazards, and she's making the case for change.
"The paparazzi consistently go to increasingly dangerous lengths to stalk and harass the people they are photographing," Johansson said in a statement provided to TODAY. "Even after Princess Diana’s tragic death, the laws were never changed to protect targets from the lawless paparazzi."
The beloved royal died in a car crash in 1997, after paparazzi pursued the vehicle she was riding in through a tunnel in Paris. The collision also caused the deaths of her then-partner, Dodi Fayed, and her driver, Henri Paul.
"Many paparazzi have criminal pasts and will perform criminal acts to get their shot," Johansson added — or acts she feels should be criminal.
That's what she claims happened Monday night, when, after an appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," she and her security team were overrun by a group of photographers who were traveling in packs.
"I was followed by five cars full of men with blacked out windows who were running red lights and putting other drivers and pedestrians at risk so they could follow me to find out where I was staying and subsequently stalk me and my young daughter for the duration of my stay," she explained. "The paparazzi put people's live at risk, so they can wait for days in quiet neighborhoods in blacked out cars, and try to follow me to the playground and photograph my child and other people’s children in a safe place that should be off limits, but isn’t. All of this is perfectly legal."
But she stressed that, given the potential for danger, it shouldn't be.
"After (Monday's) incident, I felt it was my duty as a concerned citizen who was being pursued dangerously and stalked to go to the local precinct and seek guidance there."
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told Entertainment Tonight, "At some point in time, the paparazzi overpowered her security and for her security reasons and for her security team, they were taken to the Hollywood police station. At that point, she was later able to leave the station. There was no crime report taken. She was just a little spooked."
Still, it's the hope of the "Avengers: Endgame" star that other celebrities follow her lead — and she hopes that legislation will be put in place to protect everyone.
"I would encourage others in a similar situation to go to the police," she said in her statement. "Women across the U.S. 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."