Scarlett Johansson speaks out after paparazzi harassment


Scarlett Johansson is ticked off and I don’t blame her. Apparently, after her appearance with Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Paul Rudd on Jimmy Kimmel the other night, a barrage of paparazzi overcame her security team and chased her to a police station as she sought refuge. LAPD confirmed that Scarlett and her team were taken to the Hollywood station for security reasons but that no official crime report was taken. LAPD also confirmed the incident left Scarlett “spooked.” Now, Scarlett is making it clear that she was chased down and that it’s not right.

Scarlett Johansson is offering a response after her security team was overpowered by paparazzi on Monday.

“The paparazzi consistently go to increasingly dangerous lengths to stalk and harass the people they are photographing,” she wrote in a statement obtained by ET. “Even after Princess Diana’s tragic death, the laws were never changed to protect targets from the lawless paparazzi. Many paparazzi have criminal pasts and will perform criminal acts to get their shot.”

“Yesterday, after leaving the Jimmy Kimmel Show, I was followed by 5 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 continued.

“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,” the 34-year-old actress added. “All of this is perfectly legal. After yesterday’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. I would encourage others in a similar situation to go to the police.”

“Women across the US 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,” she concluded.

[From ET]

Much like Hilary Duff’s experience with a paparazzo following her for hours while she was still pregnant, I find Scarlett’s descriptions of how the paparazzi tail her and her daughter horrifying. I can’t even imagine how aggressive these guys must have been to overpower her security team. If they were running red lights and driving unsafely, I’m not sure why a crime report couldn’t be filed. Kimmel’s stage door is a well-known photo spot, what shot were they looking for that required five cars giving chase? These actors are everywhere during Avengers promotion, we know this from past promotions. I wonder if the male actors there that night had similar experiences. As Scarlett mentioned, women are constantly stalked but we really don’t hear these harrowing accounts for men.

I’m curious about Scarlett’s comment that most paparazzi are criminals. I can’t find anything to confirm that. I do agree that much of their behavior should fall under harassment laws. And then there’s plain old common decency, like not chasing a person down the street in a car or trying to photograph someone with cancer after a chemo treatment or, again, stalking a pregnant woman. I’m glad she encouraged others to go to the police. If there are enough reports, maybe changes will happen.




Photo cedit: WENN Photos

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29 Responses to “Scarlett Johansson speaks out after paparazzi harassment”

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  1. Maya says:

    How horrible and I hope the law gets changed to protect all citizens.

  2. OriginalLala says:

    That’s terrifying, and insane. Good for Scarlett for talking about this. I know the paps have symbiotic relationships with *some* celebrities but this sounds downright criminal…

  3. BaronSamedi says:

    She is absolutely in the right and good for her for standing up for herself. I really hope I don’t see people victim blaming again in the comment section.

    Consent needs to be given again and again. Just because she may have called the paps once doesn’t mean she gave them universal permission to always be on her tail. That’s just common sense.

  4. Mia4s says:

    “most paparazzi are criminals”

    “Most” is likely pushing it, but given that it’s often a freelance position with little to no oversight, it absolutely attracts a certain element.

    This sounds like a problem group of them though. To commit criminal acts just to find out where she’s staying? The pros would have had that information in 10 minutes with a few calls to doormen and assistant desk clerks. It’s her call but I wish she had filed a criminal complaint. This could be something that escalates.

    • Algernon says:

      If’s she staying in a hotel, it’s undoubtedly the kind of place where the staff absolutely will not give out that kind of information. She could also be staying in a private home. Surely she still owns real estate in LA, or could rent/borrow a place for a few weeks during a press tour. Either way, it’s probably hard to get a bead on someone like her, who has the means to move around under cover, even in LA. They would likely feel that following her is the only way to find out her base camp so they can then spend all day following her as soon as she leaves her home. They probably want photos of her daughter, too, since that kid is rarely photographed and the pictures would be even more valuable. It’s all so gross.

  5. Megan says:

    She could have made her point without invoking Princess Diana. That was kind of gross.

    • Katherine says:

      I dunno I think her point is valid? A very famous person died in the context of a paparazzi chase (yes other factors as well). And Scarlett is saying it’s still a problem and hasn’t changed much despite that.

      • lucy2 says:

        I agree.

        This all sounds insane, and I can’t imagine why they thought it was so valuable as to endanger many people. This behavior is all too common, and needs to stop.

    • elimaeby says:

      Megan, came here to say the same. Can we let Diana rest in peace, please? I know that her death happened when Scarlett was young, and it left an impression, but still…

      • Marr says:

        I don’t see how this isn’t letting Diana rest in peace. It’s remembrance, so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

      • blinkers says:

        I agree. Her experience sounds terrifying, and she didn’t need to bring up Diana to make that point.

    • Gia says:

      Agreed!! Does she think she is in the same realm as Princess Diana …?! Unless it’s a paid pap stroll there should be some restrictions but it’s difficult and complicated to create laws when it comes to public spaces and then also enforce them. At least in the UK a child’s face has to be blurred out. Scarjo is a millionaire who chose to become an actress and has chosen/accepted/campaigned for her roles that put her in the public eye / spotlight. If she wants to live a private life she should’ve chosen a different career. Paps come with the privilege of being a Hollywood star. She can choose smaller independent roles that don’t require her promoting them by appearing on talk shows / magazine covers. These celebs accept these massive roles because it increases their star power and pays them $$$$. She’s worth 140 million. She can invest her money quietly and make passive income and raise her kid in peace. She gets no sympathy from me.

      • Algernon says:

        Everyone is entitled to privacy, regardless of career or net worth. And chasing celebrities through traffic is dangerous for everyone else on the road, too.*

        *Someone who drives in LA all the time and has been run off the road by pap paks.

      • Case says:

        Just because she chose to become an actress doesn’t mean she and her daughter deserve to be harassed and chased by paps. No one deserves that no matter how famous they are, and harassment shouldn’t be part of the package when you decide you wan to act in movies. The fact is it’s dangerous not just for the subject of the photo, but everyone involved in the chase as well.

        What upsets me most about this is that the paps HAD her photo leaving the studio. Why wasn’t that enough? Why do they need to follow her to her hotel and stalk her while she’s there?

  6. Michael says:

    It does seem to be women who bear the brunt of the hyper aggressive apps. I had not even thought of it till you brought it up. Maybe there needs to be some sort of licensing agency for paps. It will likely take a real tragic incident before changes are made. I guess any stalker can get away with it if he has a camera with him

  7. Chef Grace says:

    She has every right to say what she wants about these parasites. She has a valid point. A majority of the paps do go to ANY lengths to get a shot. Freelance paps are a dime a dozen. It is a cutthroat business. The best shot gets the money. Watch Nightcrawler. I think there should be laws in place not just for the celebs but also to keep the public safe from these animals.

  8. babsjohnson says:

    And that’s why I’m never sorry for paps getting beat. They always deserve it. That corporation should be dismantled by law.

  9. LondonLozza says:

    Sienna Miller back in 2011 at the Levison Enquiry into the press, specifically talking about the papparazzi :

    The actress described to the inquiry incidents of media driving illegally while following her and said she had been pursued by 10 to 15 men on a daily basis who abused her and did anything to get “an emotional reaction”. She questioned why having a camera made it legal for people to chase her. “I would often find myself – I was 21 – at midnight running down a dark street,” she said.

    These nobbers need to have charges, serious ones, brought against them.

    • Shirurusu says:

      I remember her saying they spit her in the face to get a camera worthy reaction, f@cking dicks! I saw a documentary about a paparazzi gang once, all of them were brainless thugs with criminal pasts who realized they could get more money from a nude shot of Kate Middleton than from dealing dope basically. All of them seemed like heavy cokeheads too, so I don’t blame any celebrity who finds them disturbing – they are!!

    • Steff says:

      English paps are particularly evil. I remember Kiera Knightley once recalled how she would walk outside her house and the paps would yell at her, call her obscene names and try to make her cry.

  10. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Scarlett didn’t say “most paparazzi are criminals”. She said many are. And I believe that. There are no professional requirements for being a pap. You simply have to have a good camera with a good zoom lens. And you have to be willing to unethical for money. Not a huge leap to think that the profession attracts people who have no moral issues with this. I.e, criminals.
    It’s beyond ridiculous to me that we have stalking laws in this country but that those laws somehow don’t count if you’re a pap. It’s essentially saying that if you walk around with a camera you can stalk whoever you want.

  11. SM says:

    This is horrible. Especially if her daughter had to experience this. kids of that age would be absolutely terrified by something like that for days if not longer. What exactly are those paparazzi getting at? Was she stashing the Pope or at least Brad Pitt under her dress? I think who ever buy pics that lead to these people losing their minds, putting people in danger, need to be held accountable too.

  12. Miss M says:

    I am glad she was able to think fast and go to the police. No one should be stalked and fell threatened. I hope her daughter is not traumatized.

  13. Emily says:

    Is it just me or do her and Colin lookalike? I never noticed it before but in the lead image, it’s there.

  14. Karen2 says:

    Actually I read as her saying papps should be criminalised per se as stalkers. The real problem with papps is when they start on ordinary ppl who dont have her resources.

    btw Diana died cos of a rebuilt car disreputable driver poor roadside diagnosis. There was no need to include her in the conversation cos ScarJos ppl will always be professionals.

  15. MangoAngel says:

    About her referencing Diana, in the actual article, she’d referenced that accident previously in her statement as a testament to the severe consequences crazed paparazzi can cause. It wasn’t just a flippant one-off like it sounds in this excerpt, she was referring back to her earlier talking point.

  16. Jane says:

    The pink dress is gorgeous and looks beautiful. The white one is rather showy for the Emmy’s, seems she could have taken it down a notch there.

  17. magdalena says:

    Kind of amazing thing about Scarlett: I completely forgot that she have a child. I really like that is not a part of her public narrative.