Halle Berry pushes back against 'backyard' paps

July 25, 2008 6:19:38 PM PDT
Halle Berry said a paparazzi went too far to get a shot of her infant daughter, alleging that the shooter trespassed on her private property and snapped them hanging out in the backyard. The Oscar-winning actress was upset when pictures of her holding four-month-old Nahla Ariela Aubry showed up on the Internet and in two celebrity magazines. In a statement, Berry disputes the notion that the photos were taken when she was "out and about in Los Angeles."

Evan Spiegel, an attorney representing Berry, said a criminal complaint has been filed and an investigation is under way. He said there are witnesses who saw the photographers in the middle of a "very blatant and invasive trespass."

A person who answered the phone Friday at Fame Pictures, the agency that distributed the photos, said he had no immediate comment.

"The paparazzi have gone too far," Berry said in a statement to The Associated Press. She vowed to do everything possible to get the photographer prosecuted and protect her infant daughter.

Besides pursuing criminal charges against the photographer, Berry is seeking to get the photos removed from the Web. In her statement, Berry said she will never sell pictures of her children.

"I have long since come to terms with the fact that choosing a career as an actress has made me a public figure, but my baby has made no such choice, and unless and until she does, I will do everything I can ... to keep her out of the public eye," the statement read.

The photos, some of which have blurred leaves in the foreground, show Berry holding her daughter, standing near a table in what appears to be a private backyard. Berry's mother is also in some of the pictures.

Berry said she wants anyone who used the photos to know they were illegally obtained.

In Touch Weekly and Life & Style Weekly both published the photos in editions that landed on newsstands this week. A spokesperson for the magazine's publisher, Bauer Publications, said in an e-mail that the photos were purchased from an "established photo agency."

"The magazines are not aware that there was anything improper in the taking of this image," the statement said.

Berry gave birth to Nahla, her first child, in March. Nahla's father, model Gabriel Aubry, was not seen in the photos.

Berry's pushback against the paparazzi comes at a time when their tactics are coming under increased scrutiny.

A pair of photographers were arrested in Los Angeles this week near Britney Spears' home because they refused to leave a fire access road. Their hilltop vantage point offered them views of Spears' exclusive gated community, which is also home to Ed McMahon.

A regional task forces is scheduled to convene in Los Angeles next week to discuss the paparazzi, and Berry's statement was issued the same day a pair of photographers scuffled in France with security personnel for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.