The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Well, I took the view then, and I would like to say that I'm not -- certainly wouldn't like to be seen to be standing in judgment on anyone who took a different view, because there are people I know and respect who have taken a different view on this, but it was my belief and remains my belief that children do best when they are kept out of the public eye and that their home life is secure and that means -- it feels like a place of safety, and I think that means private. So I endeavoured from the very first to draw a very clear line between what I considered unwarrantable intrusion into my private life, and that was largely my daughter.

I had countless requests to be photographed with my daughter. I vividly remember a women's magazine who wanted to take a photograph of me with my broken down typewriter and my daughter on my knee, and when I said that is absolutely not happening, they said, "We won't do the interview then", which was no loss to me. I really did not want that to happen.

I think it's one reason I agreed to appear, because I think this is something I feel very strongly. When you become well-known, and it was a shock to me that I became so well-known so quickly, no one gives you a guidebook. There is nothing that's handed to you to say, "You can do route A, B or C". You have to make it up, to an extent, yourself. And I inferred from the press's often justification for printing photographs of people's families, their justification was so frequently, "Well, you have sold your family life, you've invited them into your home, you've allowed photographers to take pictures of your children, you have in effect used your family as a promotional tool", so I inferred from that that if I do not do those things, the privacy of my children will be -- well, at that time my only child, will be respected. So I was trying hard to abide by what I thought was the unwritten code. And I would say that I think a significant section of the press have respected my stance on that, but a significant section of the press, in my view, have seen that almost as a challenge.

So I tried very hard to abide by what I thought were the rules, and I failed.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech