Justin Bieber is followed by paparazzi 24/7. Why wouldn’t he cite Princess Diana?
Justin Bieber may be foreshadowing something. He has once again referenced the death of Princess Diana after his red Ferrari was rear-ended by a paparazzo Tuesday afternoon in West Hollywood.
Taking to Twitter shortly after his encounter with a paparazzo, who drove a Prius — which left Bieber with a bumper scratch and no injuries, but also evidently something he needed to get off his chest — the singer declared:
“There should be laws against what I just experienced. We should have learned from the death of Princess Diana…”
Justin added: ” I don’t have a problem with Paparazzi but when they act recklessly they put us all in danger.
There should be laws against what I just experienced. We should have learned from the death of Princess Diana…
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) August 26, 2014
…I don’t have a problem with Paparazzi but when they act recklessly they put us all in danger.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) August 26, 2014
X17Online.com claims another paparazzo alleged Bieber slammed his brakes so the pap would hit him. Police at West Hollywood sheriff’s department are investigating.
The issue will center on fault, a word that comes up time and time again in the Canadian’s endlessly combative relationship with the paparazzi.
It’s been 17 years since the death of Princess Diana in 1997 in a Paris Tunnel car crash.
The final verdict of a six-month inquest which ended in April 2008 — and was not without its flaws — declared the princess and Dodi Fayed victims of an “Unlawful Killing,” due to the “grossly negligent” drunk driving of chauffeur Henri Paul and paparazzi following.
The sight of photographers crawling through the tunnel to get their money shots of a dying woman repulsed the world, though some did try to get Diana, Dodi, her police guard and chauffeur out of the car. And who could forget the princess’ last hunted years?
But, even though Bieber still remembers the reflections on privacy, paparazzi and media that people shared around the world after Diana’s death, the acute anger over the invasive nature of paparazzi and talk of tighter regulations has fizzled out.
Some will slam Bieber’s words, his continuing lawsuits with paparazzi and others and roll their eyes. They’ll point to the minor nature of his rear-ending and Princess Diana’s fatal crash and perhaps assume Bieber is literally comparing himself to a woman many see as a saint.
Most will be unable to disengage from the current, pervasive anti-Bieber sentiment, and on their way to comments pages or publish buttons will pause only to gather ammunition.
In short, they will miss the fact that Bieber is raising an important point — whether we like, love or loathe him.
(Photo: Justin Bieber talking to a paparazzo in West Hollywood after getting rear-ended on August 26.)
Bieber has been involved in numerous paparazzi-caused “close calls. He was chased by paparazzi on the 101 Freeway, before eventually begging for help from police and getting a speeding ticket in 2012; while on January 1, 2013, a pararazzo died after pursuing a car he thought Bieber was in.
This June, Justin was a passenger in a reportedly paparazzi-induced crash. The cat-and-mouse game between paps and celebrities continues.
All of the above events took place after a 2010 California motion, introducing a penalty for those who disobey traffic laws or drive in a reckless manner for commercial gain.
Fast forward to 2014, Halle Berry and others’ lobbying on an anti-paparazzi bill was signed into law. It authorized tough penalties on photographers who harass celebrities when they are with children.
But the problem remains, what constitutes harassment for famous folk without kids?
In 2013, after Bieber called for new laws regulating paparazzi after the death of paparazzo Chris Guerra, criminal defense and constitutional rights attorney Ian Wallach of Feldman & Wallach told E! News:
“I don’t want to sound harsh, but if the aftermath of Diana’s death didn’t change anything, I doubt that the death of a paparazzo who thought he was chasing Justin Bieber is going to change anything.”
He added: “If people want to make laws that limit what the paparazzi can say or do, they’re going to have to make a federal constitutional amendment. “
Wallach continued, “And those have been successful roughly once every 20 years since the Bill of Rights was created.”
We all know paparazzi over-step, and will continue to as long as there is huge supply and demand for pictures. As yet, there is no limit, no regulation that can stop a typical celebrity from being treated as a human lottery ticket.
Is this the price of uber fame Justin Bieber signed up for? When he met manager Scooter Braun at the age of 12, he couldn’t have given informed consent or known what a life of no privacy would mean.
Perhaps the next big change in anti-paparazzi law will come after another “Princess Diana moment?”
[Images via X17Online.com].