Paparazzi Work
Anti-paparazzi Tactics
Some stars develop some pretty imaginative ways to combat paparazzi. Russell Crowe beat the paparazzi at their own game by scooping them on his 2003 wedding. Crowe authorized his own photographers to shoot the wedding and then released the photos and video in exclusive deals with publications and networks.

Supermodel Heidi Klum took a similar approach to keep paparazzi away from her daughter. Celebrity children are a favorite of paparazzi -- "That's why I released the photos of her, instead of having photographers hunt for them," Klum told USA Today.

Everything from disguises to decoys are used to avoid recognition in public places. At times, celebrities use multiple cars to cover travel routes. False press statements and an alias can cover a celebrity's whereabouts. More low-tech solutions involve canopies over outdoor events and good old-fashioned bruiser security to keep the paparazzi at bay.

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas took perhaps some of the most famous and extreme set of measures to keep paparazzi out of the picture at their wedding:

  • All of the caterers, help, suppliers and any other vendors associated with the wedding had to sign confidentiality agreements (even the ones that didn't get the job).
  • No wedding guests were given the time or location of the wedding until the last minute.
  • The day before the wedding, special tickets were hand-delivered or couriered to the invited guests.
  • Each ticket had a code in invisible ink alongside a special design. Only one person, wedding planner Simone Martel Levinson, knew what that design looked like. Before allowing each guest entry, Levinson personally authenticated the design on that guest's ticket.
  • Once admitted to the wedding, guests swapped the tickets for a gold "guest" pin designed by Jones and Douglas. The ticket swap and the pins were kept secret until the event.
  • No guests were allowed to have cameras inside the event.
  • Other hotel guests staying at the Plaza Hotel were not allowed anywhere near the wedding rooms.
  • Up until the moment the wedding started, all wedding rooms were swept several times for hidden audio or video recording devices.
  • The New York Police Department and Fire Department were on board for security. All of the hotel's fire alarms were monitored by personnel throughout the wedding to make sure no one would pull them during the event.
  • Three private security guards patrolled the corridors at all times.

The security bill for the wedding equaled more than $66,000, but even with all of those countermeasures, paparazzo Rupert Thorpe managed to infiltrate the wedding and snap shots of the bride and groom that he later sold to publications Hello! and The Sun.

As you can imagine, this boiled the blood of the newlyweds, who pursued legal action and won a nominal settlement against the publications.

Are there laws that protect paparazzi's rights to invade privacy in the name of a photograph? This becomes the central question when discussing how paparazzi work. In the next sections, we will look at laws related to privacy, photography and paparazzi.

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