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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Paparazzi Feel Heat From Public After Crash

LONDON -- The world on Monday rounded on paparazzi for the deadly car chase that may have helped kill Princess Diana -- but the tabloids said they were just printing what their readers wanted.

Sylvester Stallone denounced them as "legalized stalkers" as calls rang out for stricter curbs on their prying lenses.

"I am horrified and disgusted but I knew it would happen in the end," Stallone said at the opening in Melbourne of the latest Planet Hollywood restaurant.

He was echoing the anger voiced by fellow American actor Tom Cruise who said: "You don't know what it's like being chased by them" and opera star Luciano Pavarotti, who declared: "There should be a law to protect citizens."

Since their birth during the 1950s "Dolce Vita" era in Rome, the tactics of the paparazzi and their love-hate relationship with celebrities have caused controversy, but nothing like the anger over Saturday's tragedy in Paris.

Editors, who know royal tittle-tattle and exclusive photographs of their private lives will sell newspapers, said there was no point in shooting the messenger.

"Don't blame the press," said British tabloid Sun, a constant source of scoops about the soap opera that the British royal family has become.

Newspapers in Italy, the birthplace of the paparazzi, rejected accusations that the press had bloodied its hands with Diana's death.

"Criminalizing newspapers is a great error," said La Republica editor Ezio Mauro.

Tabloid editors in Germany said they were publishing what their readers wanted. The mass tabloid Bild ran a front-page photograph of emergency workers trying to burrow into the wrecked car. The newspaper, which has a circulation of 4 million, would not say how much it had paid for the picture.

Politicians, stars and editorialists united in condemnation after Diana and her millionaire companion Dodi Al Fayed were killed in Paris while being chased by photographers on motorbikes. Seven photographers detained at the crash scene were questioned by French police.

"She was hounded by the media," said New Zealand Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

Construction workers assaulted a New Zealand newspaper photographer in an apparent backlash attack against the media.

The photographer, a woman in her 30s, was photographing an industrial accident in Christchurch. She suffered neck and shoulder injuries and bruises to her face and body after her camera was pushed in her face.

France, the scene of the tragedy, already has tough laws.

Any person taking a picture of an individual in a private place without permission can be jailed for two years and fined up to 300,000 francs ($50,000). A car qualifies as a private place under French law.

Culture Minister Catherine Trautmann said French privacy laws were the strictest in the world but told France 2 television: "We must ask whether we need a law that can protect individuals both on the soil of the country where they are and also abroad."

But Britain, though grieving over the loss of the princess, will not be rushed into hasty new legislation.

Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, on a tour of Southeast Asia, said the death of Princess Diana was too recent.