For decades, the paparazzi have been pursuing the rich and famous in the hope of capturing a shot that they can sell for hundreds - and sometimes thousands - of dollars. Constant surveillance is seen as a part of the overall "package" of fame: if you thrust yourself into the public eye in the first place, you can expect the media to become interested in your every move. Of course, this isn't exactly pleasant for the famous individuals involved. Signing up to star in a high-profile movie doesn't exactly mean you've agreed to be stalked, bothered, and photographed for the rest of your life, but hey - try telling the paparazzi that!
Over the years, there have been countless instances of the paparazzi taking things way too far in their pursuit of celebrities. The line of acceptability seems to get crossed more often than it's respected, even though it often has dangerous - and sometimes tragic - consequences. Physical harm has come to the paparazzi and the rich and famous alike, and the safety of both adults and children have been compromised. Here are just some of the times that the paparazzi most definitely overstepped the mark while chasing certain celebrities - all in the name of getting the "perfect" shot.
It may have taken place over a decade ago, but many of us still have crystal-clear memories of Britney Spears' infamous - and very public - breakdown in 2007. Even when Spears was quite clearly suffering and in emotional pain, the paparazzi were present to capture every misstep she made.
As The Telegraph notes, they were there when she shaved her head in a Los Angeles salon and they continued to follow her through months of turmoil and suffering. It's hard not to see the press as going way too far in its pursuit of this troubled star who needed help much more than she needed constant media attention.
In 2013, Hollywood actress Halle Berry became so frustrated by the paparazzi's intrusion in her life that she helped to pass a new California law restricting photographers' actions. According to The Guardian, the law specifically related to the safety of stars' children - something that Berry herself related to.
During the hearing that led to the law being passed, Berry stated that her young daughter was scared of the paparazzi to the extent that she feared for her life when they were present.
As Digital Spy notes, Berry's daughter was once present when a photographer tried to start a fight with Berry's then-partner Oliver Martinez. No child deserves to go through that - no matter who their mother happens to be.
Even in the years since Lady Di's tragic passing, it's remained shockingly common for the paparazzi to put people's lives at risk in their pursuit of celebrities. Nobody knows this more than Lindsay Lohan, who has suffered more than one car accident as a result of being tailed by reporters.
In 2005, when Lohan was just 19, People reported that she'd been involved in a crash in West Hollywood while trying to escape paparazzi that were tailing her. In 2012, the same thing happened again - and this time, Lohan ended up in hospital. The paparazzi apparently don't learn from their mistakes...
The paparazzi don't just overstep boundaries when snapping photos of celebrities - they act out when they're confronted over it, too! Nobody knows this better than Ryan Reynolds, who found himself in a confrontation with a photographer in Vancouver back in 2015.
According to CBC, Richard William Fedyck, a notorious paparazzo, hit Reynolds with his car in April of that year after stalking the actor for almost two months. Reynolds, luckily, escaped with minor injuries, while the photographer was charged. This wasn't Fedyck's first offense, either: in the past, he'd been accused of endangering stars such as Pamela Anderson and Twilight's Kellan Lutz.
British singer Lily Allen has a somewhat troubled history when it comes to her interactions with the paparazzi. She's been vocally critical of their methods - and for good reason! In 2009, The Telegraph reported that Allen was left livid after a photographer rear-ended her car, and even swung to punch the man before her bodyguards intervened.
Later in the year, Metro added that Allen had been given legal protection against various paparazzi agencies that had gone way too far in their pursuit of the singer.
An order prevented photographers from congregating near Allen's London home, leaving her feeling like she "had my life back." Good for her!
Like many celebrity mothers, British superstar Adele quickly got sick and tired of the paparazzi trying to snap photos of her young son, Angelo. Eventually, she took legal action against Corbis Images - a prominent paparazzi agency in the UK - surrounding secret photos they'd snapped of what the BBC called Angelo's "milestone moments."
According to BBC News, Adele's lawsuit was successful: she was awarded a five-figure compensation payment by the High Court. Following the trial, the singer's representatives made it clear that she'd do the same thing again if any more paparazzi photos of her son emerged. As of now, it looks like Corbis Images has learned its lesson!
Once again, we have an example of a paparazzo taking things tragically far in their pursuit of a celebrity.
However, in this case, it wasn't the star who ended up suffering, but the photographer himself.
In 2013, CNN reported that a paparazzo had lost his life while trying to photograph the Ferrari of pop superstar Justin Bieber.
The reporter in question was struck by oncoming traffic while trying to capture the car, which he believed Bieber was in. Bieber wasn't actually present at the time, but the paparazzo still tried to get what he thought was the perfect shot - and ended up perishing due to his actions.
Over the years, George Clooney has done a pretty good job of staying out of the public eye when he desires it. However, the paparazzi started to tail Clooney and his family more intensely following the birth of George and Amal's twin children in 2017.
As Time reported, Clooney hit back at members of the paparazzi who'd sneakily taken pictures of Ella and Alexander - who at the time were mere weeks old - while the family was relaxing at home. The photographers in question had allegedly scaled trees and walls to capture the pictures in question, leading Clooney to threaten them with "the full extent of the law." The safety of his children was the actor's main priority - and rightfully so.
It seems that one of the most common transgressions made by members of the paparazzi is trying to snap unauthorized, intrusive, and often downright creepy photos of celebrities' children.
One particularly memorable instance of this behavior came in 2010 when Nicole Richie witnessed a paparazzo trespassing at her daughter's pre-school.
According to TMZ, the photographer was seen stalking two-year-old Harlow and was quickly served with a temporary restraining order. Richie later took this paparazzo to court to gain a permanent order against him, and actually testified against him in the dock. Sadly, this was just one of many instances of Richie having to fight back against over-zealous photographers.
Ever since Jennifer Aniston took her breakout role of Rachel on Friends, she's been a frequent target of often extreme paparazzi attention. In recent years, this took the form of constant media speculation over whether Aniston was pregnant with her former partner Justin Theroux's baby (spoiler alert: she wasn't).
Photographers would stalk Aniston at home and on vacation, scale walls and trees to get the perfect shot, and basically refuse to give the actress a moment of rest. Eventually, Aniston penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post expressing her frustration at the paparazzi's intrusions - and who can blame her!
Back in 2013, Nicole Kidman experienced first-hand just how dangerous an over-zealous paparazzo can be. As The Independent reported, the actress was knocked down by a bike-riding photographer outside a Manhattan hotel after a day at New York Fashion Week.
Although she escaped without injury, Kidman was understandably rattled by the incident and tried to take the photographer in question - Carl Wu - to court.
However, the NYPD decreed that it was merely an "accident," and refused to arrest Wu. This wasn't his first questionable brush with a celebrity, either: Wu had received criticism years earlier for his "reckless" pursuit of Lady Gaga.
Reese Witherspoon's frustration with the paparazzi has been going on for years now. She's yet another celebrity mother who's tried and tried to protect her children from a constant crowd of photographers - often to no avail. But in 2005, a paparazzo actually ended up getting arrested after hurting staff members at Florida's Disneyland resort.
According to Gawker, he was attempting to trail Witherspoon and her young children when the incident took place. Two years later, JustJared reported that Witherspoon lost her temper after the paparazzi began to trail her on a shopping trip with her visibly frightened kids. Can you really blame her?
While singer and rapper, Chris Brown has been a pretty popular paparazzi target since he first entered the music industry, the spotlight on the star only intensified after his 2009 arrest for the incident with his then-girlfriend Rihanna.
Photographers became very keen to capture shots of the disgraced Brown, eventually leading to a destructive 2013 accident.
According to CNN, Brown totaled his car after crashing it into a wall in an attempt to escape photographers that had blocked him into an alleyway. While nobody was injured, Brown was understandably angry about the incident and went on to slam the "ruthlessness" of the paparazzi at large.
After spending over a decade in the limelight so far, Miley Cyrus has become pretty used to dealing with extreme attention from the paparazzi. However, that doesn't mean she's meekly accepted some of the more controversial actions of the photographers who pursue her.
In 2011, for example, MTV reported that Cyrus had confronted a paparazzo who'd accidentally struck her mother with his camera. The young star had pushed the man's lens aside while berating him for his reckless behavior - only for him to try to snap another photo of Miley moments later while denying that he'd gone near her mom at all! Just... Wow.
One of the most extreme cases ever of the paparazzi going too far has to be Arnold Schwarzenegger's experience with two photographers in 1997. As the LA Times reported, Schwarzenegger and his then-pregnant wife Maria Shriver were physically blocked in by the paparazzi's cars on their way to drop their child off at pre-school and were left unable to escape their prying cameras.
This incredibly invasive event was made even more shocking by the fact that at the time,
Schwarzenegger was recovering from major heart surgery- any amount of stress could have been very dangerous for him.
Luckily, the photographers involved didn't get away with it: they were jailed for two years on false imprisonment charges.
Kim Kardashian is one of the most famous women in the world, so it's perhaps unsurprising that the paparazzi try to follow her every move. However, this doesn't justify the actions of some of her more aggressive pursuers who have taken things a bit too far more than once over the years.
One of the most memorable incidents in recent years involved a frequent red-carpet gatecrasher called Vitalii Sediuk, a journalist who harmed Kardashian at Paris Fashion Week in 2014. As The Daily Mail reported, Sediuk reportedly "pulled Kim's hair" and pushed her so hard that she almost fell to the floor. Kim was understandably shaken, and Sediuk was quickly removed from the premises.
While all five members of One Direction have been the subject of intense media speculation during the band's heyday and beyond, Niall Horan has had a number of high-profile clashes with the paparazzi since his rise to fame.
One of the worst incidents was a 2013 confrontation at LAX airport that led to Horan being dragged to the floor by one over-eager photographer.
The Daily Mail reported that while all five then-members of the band were annoyed, it was Horan who took the brunt of the paparazzo's "enthusiasm."
Needless to say, Niall was not pleased and ended up having a major rant about the incident on Twitter.
What is it about the paparazzi and airports? Back in 2010, comedian and actor Russell Brand ended up getting arrested after a scuffle with a photographer. As Billboard notes, Brand's anger at the man was somewhat justified: the paparazzo in question had been trying to capture up-skirt shots of Brand's then-fianceé, Katy Perry.
The photographer himself actually performed citizen's arrest on Brand following the fist-fight, although as MTV reported shortly afterward, no charges were actually brought against the star. Shockingly, the paparazzo also seemingly got away with bad behavior.