As she made her way down a California highway on Monday, Scarlett Johansson noticed a group of sport utility vehicles following her. Trying to elude what she believed were paparazzi, the actress left the highway and pulled into the parking lot of Disneyland — crashing into a car carrying a family in the process, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The latest case of a Hollywood star clashing with paparazzi didn’t end in any injuries, but was yet another incident in the increasingly tense battle between the two factions. According to the paper, four paparazzi had followed the 20-year-old star of “The Island” from her Hollywood home. When she noticed four SUVs following her Mercedes down Interstate 5, she pulled off and paid a $10 fee to enter the Disneyland parking lot.
When Johansson saw that she was still being followed, she accidentally clipped another car carrying a woman and her two young children, according to her publicist, who said at least one photographer jumped out of his car and started snapping pictures of the accident (see “Paparazzi Profits Could Dip If Lawmakers Get Their Way “ ).
The co-owner of the JFX Direct photo agency, Arnold Cousart, confirmed that two of his photographers had been following the actress for four days and had tracked her to Disneyland along with at least one rival photographer. He denied his photographers had anything to do with the collision and said they were at least 40 yards behind the actress’ car.
Johansson has been hounded by photographers since her August 13 return from London, where she was working on the next Woody Allen film, according to publicist Marcel Pariseau. “At least two or three of them had been camping outside of her house for five days,” Pariseau told the Times.
The Johansson crash comes two months after a paparazzo was arrested on suspicion of ramming into Lindsay Lohan’s car in Los Angeles. That incident took place in the midst of an investigation by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office into whether paparazzi photographers are conspiring with one another to trap stars in dangerous situations in order to get shots of them in distress (see “Star-Chasing Paparazzi Could Face Felony Conspiracy Charges” ).
Anaheim police were aware of the Johansson crash but were not investigating it because no police report was filed.
“She’s frustrated; she’s left Los Angeles,” Pariseau said. “She can’t deal with it anymore. … She would hope that some legislation would get passed in the future to avoid these situations.”
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