The most high-profile incident involving the paparazzi was the 1997 deaths of Princess Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. Everyone is familiar with the events of that summer night, so let’s look at what Prince William had to say about the paparazzi in the BBC documentary, “Diana, 7 Days” (via the Independent): “About every single time she went out, there’d be a pack of people waiting for her. And I mean a pack, like a pack of dogs, followed her, chased her, harassed her, called her names, spat at her, tried to get a reaction to get that photograph of her lashing out, to get her upset.”
When she was pushed to tears, the paparazzi had a name for it: a “loon attack.” For the paparazzi, Princess Diana was a massive payday. Photos of her sold to publications — mostly tabloids — for as much as $656,000, and it’s worth noting, too, that it wasn’t just the photographers. Ex-Daily Mirror editor Ian Down explained to Time: “Editors couldn’t get enough of her.”
After the deaths of Diana, Fayed, and Paul, the world wanted answers — especially when it came out that some of the paparazzi had climbed on the car to get pictures of the injured and dying occupants. Can it get worse? Yes: Of the paparazzi involved in the crash, nine had their manslaughter charges thrown out of court. Three were convicted on charges of invasion of privacy, and as a sentence, they paid a fine of €1.