In a recent interview, Jennifer Garner revealed in disturbing detail what it is like to be stalked by paparazzi and how their constant and aggressive presence has given her children “so much anxiety”. She shared that she’d go through a yellow light and 15, 20 cars would go through the red light behind her, driving up on the side of the roads, and this is just for photos of a mum and a kid. Speaking to Hollywood Reporter via Buzzfeed, Garner pointed out that photographers used to target her much more than they would target her ex-husband, Ben Affleck, even though he was more famous than she was when they first started dating.
“We lived down a street that was chock-a-block full of actors, much more successful and famous and decorated than me, including Ben, and they’d all go by one by one, no problem, and then I’d go do a school run and it’d be 15 cars going with me.”
She added that she never had a day without paparazzi and if she did make it to a park by hiding in the bottom of the pool man’s truck or something, then a nanny would see her there and call a number and they’d swarm. Garner told Hollywood Reporter about a heartbreaking moment she had this summer when she was finally able to take her children to the beach wearing face masks.
She had to explain to them why the beach was usually off-limits for them. “I told them, ‘We’d try to go and we’d just get chased away.’…You’re not just ruining the experience for your family, you’re ruining it for everybody [on the beach]. It’s like, ‘Who wants to have us around?'”
Garner shared that her daughter Violet used to have to dodge the paparazzi at her school and was kicked off her soccer team because of their constant presence. Garner remembered a time where she invited the police to her home to talk about the issue and Violet pleaded with them for help. As she is Ben Affleck’s daughter, Violet is hyper-articulate. She stood up on a chair in a little velvet dress with her hair back and her glasses on and she did not say her Rs right.
Violet then said, “We didn’t ask for this. We don’t want these cameras, they’re scary. The men are scary, they knock each other over and it’s hard to feel like a kid when you’re being chased.”
The actress then concluded by talking about how her kids have had to navigate seeing their parents’ marriage and divorce become fodder for tabloids. “When they were smaller and there were things out there that were shocking, my request to them was always,’ Let Dad and I talk you through whatever it is,'” she said.”I’d tell them, ‘If you see an image of the front of a magazine, I’ll look at it with you and we’ll process all the scary feelings that come up together.'”
The Alias star’s comments come in the wake of the much-talked-about documentary Framing Britney Spears. It may be that Garner and Spears’ stories are quite different but both have described situations where the paparazzi traumatised their kids and put them in physical danger. Garner gave testimony to the California legislature in 2013 about her experience and urged them to pass a bill that would grant children some protection from paparazzi. That bill ultimately passed. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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