Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on Thursday provided a rare glimpse into her struggle to protect her children from media intrusion, her voice shaking with rage as she recalled how once she chased a young photographer down the street after he photograped her and her daughter leaving home.
On another occasion, pictures of her daughter in a swimsuit were circulated on the net for months after the Press Complaints Commission ruled that it should not be used in print. One journalist went to the extent of secretly slipping a letter for her in her daughter's schoolbag.
“My daughter was in her first year at primary school, when unzipping her school bag I found a letter from a journalist in it addressed to me. I felt such an invasion, I was so angry that my five-year-old daughter was not safe even in her school,'' Ms Rowling said.
Giving evidence before a public inquiry into media ethics, set up in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, Ms Rowling said she often felt “trapped'' as photographers and reporters parked themselves outside her house.
“After the birth of one of my children, it became impossible to leave home without being photographed. I found myself trapped. They [journalists] were permanently outside my house. ..It feels threatening to have people watching you,'' she said.
On one occasion, two tabloid journalists “took residence'' outside her house and when they were asked what they wanted their answer was that they were there because it was a “boring day at the office''.
Ms. Rowling said she was particularly concerned about the privacy of her children and had stopped taking them to public events after a string of bruising encounters with photographers . “It is my belief and it remains my belief that children do best when they are kept out of the public eye,” she said.