Stars to Paparazzi: Leave Us Alone

Without a single film credit, Suri Cruise and Shiloh Jolie-Pitt are about as famous as their superstar parents, their faces adorning the pages of many glossy celebrity magazines.

Celebrity baby photos are now huge business. Jennifer Lopez reportedly banked a cool $5 million for the first shots of her twins in People magazine. And some say the first look at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's impending twins could fetch as much as $10 million.

"I would say people are pretty obsessively interested in celebrity babies," said Janice Min, the editor-in-chief of Us Weekly magazine. "In some ways, childhood and pregnancy is sort of the last boundary that's been blown open."

But for celebrity parents who want clear boundaries, the paparazzi make their life nearly unbearable.


"I was hounded when I was pregnant," Salma Hayek told ABC News' Deborah Roberts. "And even more since I've had the baby. They are parked outside of your house, and they will not move for months. I didn't leave my house for three months."

Hayek finally decided to release her own photo of baby Valentina free of charge, in part to reduce the frenzy over the first photo.

"I knew the public was curious about her," she said. "And I wanted to introduce it to my child very proudly."

Sarah Jessica Parker, another favorite target of the paparazzi, made a similar call after the 2002 birth of son James Wilkie.


"Photographers moved into apartments next door to us, and we really found ourselves kind of living like a spy movie," she told Roberts. "We really tried to think about what was going to be best for us leaving the hospital and also what didn't involve money."

Parker's husband, Matthew Broderick, came up with a plan to tip off the press before they left the hospital.

"It was really a shining moment for him," she said. "He put his finger to his lips. And he said, 'Shhh.' You could hear a pin drop. All you could hear was [the snap of the cameras]. He brought the press to some kind of civility at that moment."

But those moments of civility are rare these days. Since anyone with a digital camera can cash in on the big bucks at stake, the paparazzi are fiercer than ever.


"I've gotten hit with the camera before," Hayek said. "Actually, I had a problem in France, where I, I was trying to get away from them and I fell when I was pregnant. This is very serious business."

Hayek is one of the few celebrities willing to speak out against the bruising tactics of some paparazzi who target tots. An incident with her baby last February really ignited her outrage.

"First I see them, with the camera and the flashes, now she starts screaming, the baby, then they push the nanny. And she was going to the floor," Hayek recalled. "It was so, so disturbing. I don't know that they wanted to get the picture or they wanted to push the baby and get me crazy. I'm not sure because it was almost, it was really deliberate."


Hayek said that after she secured Valentina she became very angry.

"Can't you see where you're going?" she recalled saying to the photographer. "I just went after him screaming at him and saying, can't you see what you're doing? You almost created a horrible accident."

Those dangerous scenarios have led magazines like Us Weekly to set some basic standards for they types of pictures they'll use.

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