Halle Berry to testify on California paparazzi bill

Halle Berry arrives at the premiere of "The Call" at the Arclight Theatre on March 5, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Halle Berry is scheduled to testify in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday in favor of state legislation that would limit the ability of paparazzi to photograph the children of celebrities.

The hearing before the Assembly Committee on Public Safety is set for midmorning, although it's not clear exactly when the actress is expected to speak.

Berry, 46, has tangled with paparazzi before. In April, she shouted and cursed at photographers at Los Angeles International Airport, telling them to get away from her young daughter, Nahla, the Los Angeles Times reports. She is currently expecting a son with fiance Olivier Martinez.

The bill by state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, would change the definition of harassment to include photographing or recording a child without the permission of a legal guardian. The legislation specifically mentions photography that involves "following the child's activities or lying in wait" and targeting a child because of a parent's line of work, according to the LA Times.

It also increases the penalties for people convicted of such behavior. The first conviction would require imprisonment of at least 10 days, up from the current five days.

The goal is also to protect the children of public officials, including judges and law enforcement, said Greg Hayes, a spokesman for the senator.

Opponents, including The Motion Picture Association of America, said it infringes on free speech.

Jim Ewert, general counsel for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, told the Times the bill could criminalize legitimate news gathering.

"It's what journalists do," he said. "They take pictures."