A new law is being proposed to protect Britney Spears and the public from the paparazzi.
“(It cost) $25,000 dollars to take an ambulance with Britney Spears to the hospital,” Councilman Dennis Zine told Access Hollywood. “Tax payers paid for that.”
The final straw for Zine was the mayhem surrounding Britney’s first January ambulance trip when her entrance to the hospital was jeopardized by paparazzi.
It was her second trip that cost the county $25,000 for motorcycle, helicopter and patrol car escorts. So now, a new law is on the horizon — if Zine has anything to say about it.
“It is not going to be called the ‘Britney Spears Law,’ I am not going to give her credit for that because it is not about Britney Spears, it’s about the paparazzi violating everybody else’s rights, freedoms and privileges,” Zine explained.
It’s about civilians that happen to encounter “Hurricane Britney” at any given moment on the roadway, as Zine described it.
“What the paparazzi have done is developed a lawless society where the rules don’t apply — on the wrong side of the street, jumping out of cars at the red lights, swarming the car, you don’t do that,” Zine said.
Zine is proposing a “personal safety bubble” law to keep what he calls the “opportunists” away from celebrities and the general public on the streets.
“If we think back a few years, Princess Diana was driving down the road, paparazzi chasing,” Zine recalls. “A crash occurred, Princess Diana died. I don’t want to see that happen here in Los Angeles.”
A year after Diana’s death and then again in 2005, civil laws were passed in Los Angeles to deter aggressive paparazzi, but no criminal law is yet in place.
“I don’t think it wold change things that much,” X-17 Vice President Brandy Navarre told “Access.” “I mean, the photographers would just stand back a little more.”
The photo agency X-17 says that as long as the demand exists, the supply will continue, regardless of a new law.
“Certainly there is the concern that it could trample on first amendment rights,” Navarre said.
Zine refutes such claims.
“We are not prohibiting anyone from taking a picture but the matter in which they are getting those pictures,” he said.