The 7 Most Dramatic Celebrity Paparazzi Scandals
1. Sienna Miller’s $80,000 settlement.
In 2008, Sienna Miller won $80,000 in settlements after suing British paparazzi who she said harassed her and invaded her privacy, by chasing her while she was in her car and stalking her outside her home.
She later said of the case: “I’m the first person to sue and win against the paparazzi on harassment charges. It’s absolutely changed my life. I didn’t want to shut down and hide myself away.”
2. Britney Spears flees paparazzi, ends up looking like a terrible mother.
In February 2006, Britney Spears was branded a “bad mother” when photos of her driving with her infant son in her lap instead of in a car seat surfaced. Spears later said, however, that she had grabbed her son in a rush because she was trying to flee a “horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi.”
3. Nicole Richie’s restraining order.
In 2010, Nicole Richie successfully got a restraining order against Fabricio Luis Mariotto, who she said tried to scare her family in order to elicit reactionary photographs. The order mandates that Mariotto stay 100 yards from the family.
Richie said that Mariotto “drives erratically around my children and others, yells, screams and attempts to scare us so that he can photograph our reactions.”
4. Jackie O’s “stalker.”
If you’re looking at a celebrity paparazzi shot from the second half of the twentieth century, there’s a pretty good chance it was shot by Ron Galella. Galella was both loved and hated — Marlon Brando once punched him in the face, he was thrown out of Studio 54 multiple times, and so on.
Jackie Onassis was his favorite subject, and she eventually sued him for invasion of privacy and harassment, as outlined in the 2010 movie about his life, Smash His Camera. As Galella noted in an interview promoting the film, “Of course she won because she had a judge who had been appointed by President Kennedy.”
5. French President’s girlfriend tries to bring down the tabloids.
Valerie Trierweiler, the partner of French President Francois Hollande, has been on a mission to sue tabloids that published photos of her and Hollande in bathing suits while they were vacationing at a presidential retreat in the south of France.
She’s already won $2,500 (though she wanted nearly $40,000) from one magazine, VSD for publishing the photos. Now, she’s going after three other magazines — Closer, Voici, and Public.
6. The naked 13-year-old at George Clooney’s house.
In 2009, a 13-year-old guest at George Clooney’s Italian castle in Lake Como (pictured above) was photographed by paparazzi while she was changing. Clooney said at the time: “We’re suing two magazines AND a photographer. I don’t know about the law in the United States but in Italy it’s illegal for photographers to climb over my wall and to take long lens pictures of a 13-year-old girl in her bedroom. I draw the line of privacy at that.”
There’s little evidence that a successful lawsuit ever occurred, but it has frequently been rumored that Clooney has considered selling the home to get away from the paparazzi.
7. Princess Diana’s death.
Princess Diana’s death in a 1997 Paris car accident has been widely blamed on paparazzi who were chasing the car. Originally, nine photographers were charged with manslaughter, but in 2002, they were found not guilty. Three of the photographers were later charged in 2006, with invasion of privacy, but they were fined only 1 euro.