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Photographers chasing Kim Kardashian not charged under paparazzi law

At least three photographers pursued Kim Kardashian at 80 to 85 mph on the 101 Freeway on Tuesday, the California Highway Patrol said Wednesday, but their behavior “did not rise to the level of reckless driving needed for charges under the state’s paparazzi law.”

Authorities cited Kardashian for speeding. Photographer Juliano A. Goncalves was also cited for speeding and making a non-emergency stop on the freeway. After a CHP officer pulled the reality star over Tuesday in her black Rolls-Royce, the photographer pulled in front of her car and got out of his vehicle to snap photos, said CHP Officer Leland Tang.

“The photographer's behavior did not rise to the level of recklessness because they were not weaving or coming up along side like in Justin Bieber. In this case they were following the black Rolls Royce very closely at speeds of up to 85 mph when our officer saw them,” Tang said.

The latest celebrity-paparazzi run-in unfolded about 12:50 pm. on the eastbound 101 near Van Nuys Boulevard.

CHP officers consulted with the Los Angeles city attorney's office to determine whether any elements of the state paparazzi law had been violated. Under the law, a driver can be charged with reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain.

“The thing that upset our officer here was one of paparazzi decided he needed the money shot of Kim getting a ticket,” Tang said. "He stopped and opened his door and started taking pictures."

The officer immediately issued the photographer a speeding ticket and another citation for making a non-emergency stop, Tang said. But two other photographers drove off and exited on Van Nuys Boulevard before they could be cited.

Seconds later, they entered the westbound freeway, stopped and began taking photographs of Kardashian and the officer, Tang said. “They were blocking traffic and worsening the situation already caused by looky-loos,” Tang said.

The incident is the latest involving paparazzi and celebrity drivers. Celebrities -- including Reese Witherspoon and Britney Spears -- have reported run-ins on the roads of Los Angeles with photographers.

A 2010 state law adds penalties on paparazzi driving dangerously for images they will sell, according to the Los Angeles city attorney's office.

In 2012, the city attorney charged a photographer under the law after a high speed pursuit of singer Justin Bieber. That photographer, Paul Raef, challenged the charge on constitutional free speech grounds.


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