To Scarlett Johansson, the star of such films as Lost in Translation and Girl With A Pearl Earring, a trip to Disneyland seemed like a good way to relax with a couple of a friends between high-profile film projects. To Hollywood's voracious celebrity photographers, however, the outing was one more juicy assignment involving one of the business's hottest young actresses.
So it was that, last Thursday, Johansson noticed she was being followed by a posse of four-wheel-drives as she left her Hollywood home and started down Interstate 5 towards the theme park, a 45- minute drive away. She paid the $10 entrance fee to the Disneyland car park in the hope of losing her pursuers, but they followed her.
Unnerved, she started swerving her Mercedes and accidentally sideswiped a Daihatsu carrying a mother and her daughters. Ms Johansson immediately apologised profusely for what she had done, according to her publicist. She didn't lodge a formal complaint or attempt to press charges against the photographers, and nobody was hurt.
But the actress was in no doubt that they were at least morally responsible for the accident. 'She has not been left alone since she has come back to the States,' the publicist, Marcel Pariseau, told the Los Angeles Times. 'At least two or three of them had been camping outside of her house for five days.' Mr Pariseau added: 'She's frustrated, she's left Los Angeles. She can't deal with it any more.'
This is turning into the summer of dust-ups between celebrities and their camera-snapping pursuers. In June, the teenage star Lindsay Lohan " of Freaky Friday and Herbie: Fully Loaded fame " came into collision with a minivan near a Los Angeles shopping centre. The photographer at the wheel of the minivan was subsequently charged with assault with a deadly weapon (the vehicle). …