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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Schwarzenegger tackles paparazzi
Lindsay Lohan
Lohan suffered minor injuries during an incident earlier this year
Paparazzi photographers who commit assault while chasing celebrities now face hefty fines under California law.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill which triples the damages people can win from paparazzi if they are assaulted during a shoot.

Several celebrities have had accidents while being chased by photographers.

Actress Lindsay Lohan was cut and bruised after a photographer allegedly drove his van into her car. He faces assault with a deadly weapon charges.

This bill hits the paparazzi where it hurts - the wallet
Cindy Montanez, assemblywoman

The law would allow people who are victims of paparazzi assaults to sue for up to three times the damages they suffered.

They could also ask for a court order requiring the photographer to give up any income earned from the pictures involved.

Assemblywoman Cindy Montanez who proposed the measure, said: "This bill hits the paparazzi where it hurts - the wallet.

"Money is their motivation, so taking away their money will be the solution."

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger is no stranger to the paparazzi

She added that the bill would protect Hollywood stars as well as bystanders who might be injured in chases involving paparazzi.

The law will come into effect on 1 January 2006. Mr Schwarzenegger - himself a former Hollywood star - signed the bill last week.

In August, actress Scarlett Johansson had a minor crash while allegedly being followed by paparazzi.

Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon said she was chased by photographers who she believed were trying to force her from the road in April.

No charges or injuries resulted from either case.


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