Stalking Celebrities Essay

1176 words - 5 pages

The Stalking of Celebrities

Stalking remains Hollywood's recurrent celebrity nightmare.1 Never before have we been able to know as much about a star as we do about a close pal. Thanks to publications and TV shows that cater to the public appetite for celebrity news, there's little privacy for stars. We learn the minor details of their lives--from an early schooling, to first kiss, last divorce, drug problems, hopes and fears.2 Celebrities on their own property are not safe from high-powered lenses, I will discuss what celebrity stalking is, why we should have harsher laws against stalking, and what the difference is between photojournalism and the paparazzi. I will prove that stalking celebrities just because there rich or famous is wrong. The law defines stalking as placing a person in fear of his or her safety, even without intent to carry out the threat.4 Being famous increasingly means living in fearSeventeen percent of the stalker's victims are celebrities.6 “Stalking of celebrities is not done by your average autograph hound.7 The stalking behavior due to delusional disorders affects 3 out of every 10,000 people and only 1%-2% of all mental patients,” Dietz says. “ But it is increasing as our culture promotes celebrities as the religion of the day.”8 “The knowing of the habits and secrets of celebrities has become a national obsession,” says James Swanson, a lawyer and author.9 There is roughly a dozen types of stalkers. Obsessive love motivates most celebrity stalkers, followed by erotomania--a person believing that he or she is loved by someone famous. Can't celebrities just put in a security system, hire a few body guards, have their fan mail checked and relax?10 It's not that simple. “There's a lot of terrorism involved in stalking that is life-altering,” Lane says. “Once you live in fear, you lose trust in people and become more isolated. It hangs with you for the rest of your life. That's a very high price to pay for fame.”11 Where stalking is concerned, society, it seems, wants to keep it a personal matter. Perhaps due to the mostly domestic context of the crime, most people rely on the out of sight, out of mind approach where stalking episodes are concerned. Cases are viewed as “lover's quarrels” or “ personal matters,” and other people (often including law enforcement officials) choose to turn a blind eye--usually until it is too late to help.12 We should have harsher laws against stalking. Last year the state of California increased the maximum sentence on a first offense to four years, and formed a new Stalking and Threat Assessment Team to isolate cases of stalking and workplace threats before they escalated into violence.13 Stalking is bothersome at best, and at worst, terrifying. Victims lose a sense of control in their lives and are plagued by self-blame, fear and a lack of self-esteem. Their privacy is destroyed, and they are constantly looking over their shoulders. They will always live in fear of them being a victim of...

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