Scarlett Johansson slammed the paparazzi and warned of another Princess Diana tragedy waiting to happen after the “Avengers” star and her security team were overpowered by photographers Monday night, prompting them to seek help at a Los Angeles police station.
Johansson said in a statement Tuesday that laws must be changed “to protect targets from the lawless paparazzi.”
"The paparazzi consistently go to increasingly dangerous lengths to stalk and harass the people they are photographing. Even after Princess Diana’s tragic death, the laws were never changed to protect targets from the lawless paparazzi,” Johansson wrote in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. “Many paparazzi have criminal pasts and will perform criminal acts to get their shot.”
The 34-year-old actress said men in five cars with blacked out windows chased her after she left the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” studio on Hollywood Boulevard on Monday night. She was at the show promoting her upcoming film, “Avengers: Endgame,” with co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Paul Rudd.
"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," the actress said, referring to her 5-year-old daughter, Rose Dorothy Dauriac.
"The paparazzi put people's [lives] 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," Johansson added. "All of this is perfectly legal.”
Johansson was taken to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Hollywood station for security reasons Monday night. Police said the actress was “a little spooked” by the incident, but was eventually able to leave the station. No police report was filed, Entertainment Tonight reported.
Johansson said Tuesday that she felt it was her “duty as a concerned citizen” who was being stalked to seek help from local police and urged others who are being “pursued dangerously” to do the same.
"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 said.
The Princess of Wales, 36, died in August 1997 when the vehicle she was in crashed in a tunnel in Paris while they were being chased by the paparazzi. Diana’s boyfriend Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, also died from their injuries.