Leveson Inquiry: after Harry Potter I felt like a hostage, says JK Rowling

Author JK Rowling appears before the Leveson Inquiry Photo: SKY

JK Rowling has described feeling like “a hostage” in her own home as it came “under siege” from the paparazzi following the success of her Harry Potter books.

The author told the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics that she had fought a running battle with the media to protect her privacy and particularly that of her three children, taking legal action more than 50 times in 14 years.

Despite her best efforts, she had been unable to prevent “private” pictures of her daughter going around the world “like a virus” on the internet.
After taking an oath under her full name of Joanne Kathleen Rowling, the 46-year-old writer said she was a passionate believer in the freedom of the press and saluted “truly heroic” journalists who risked their lives to expose the truth about war and famine.

She did not, however, mince her words when it came to the “illegal and unjustifiably intrusive” behaviour of some tabloid journalists, adding: “I wonder sometimes why they’re called the same thing.”
With her husband, Neil Murray, sitting in the public gallery of the hearing at the High Court in London, she said she had been guided by her strong belief that “children do best when they are kept out of the public eye“.

She quickly discovered how difficult it would be to ensure that when she experienced “the first burst of publicity” after the first book, published in 1997, became a bestseller.

Her eldest daughter came home from primary school and, she said: “I unzipped her bag and among the usual notes from school and debris, I found a letter from a journalist. “It said he intended to ask a mother at the school to put this in my daughter’s bag.

I don’t know whether that’s how it got there but I felt such a sense of invasion. It’s very difficult to say how angry I felt that my five-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists.”

After buying a house with the advance for the first book, Miss Rowling was horrified to see pictures of it, including the street name and house number, appear in the press, and moved as a result, but had been forced to take legal action when pictures of three subsequent homes were published.

As a result, photographers would camp outside her house and “it really was like being under siege or being a hostage … I felt completely trapped in the house and of course that had a massive effect on the children”.

When the seventh and final Potter book was about to be published in 2007, a journalist contacted the head of her daughter’s school, and suggested that she had “distressed fellow pupils by revealing that Harry Potter dies in the final Harry Potter book”.

Miss Rowling went on: “My daughter was being characterised as some sort of bully, but there was not a word of truth in it. There had been no complaint.

“My daughter could not have possibly known what was in book seven, because by her own request she did not want to know. To approach my daughter’s school was outrageous.”

In 2004 the Daily Express alleged that Miss Rowling had based the character of the self-obsessed teacher Gilderoy Lockhart on her former husband, after she told a group of children that she had based him on “someone I lived with briefly”.

In fact, she was referring to a former flatmate, but she “had to sit my eldest daughter down and explain it”.

She was not, however, asked whether anyone in particular had inspired one of her most vile characters, the manipulative journalist Rita Skeeter, who appears to embody all that she loathes about the tabloid press.

The hearing continues on Monday.

Apple Holding Private Memorial for Steve Jobs [REPORT]

Apple is reportedly holding a private event to memorialize Steve Jobs at its campus on Oct. 19.

According to a report from MacGeneration, Apple chief executive Tim Cook sent out a note to employees advising them of the event. It appears to be private.

Separately, Bloomberg reported that Jobs died of respiratory failure five years after being diagnosed with a “metastatic pancreas neuroendocrine tumor“, the paper reported. He was buried at a nondenominational cemetery in Santa Clara County, Bloomberg said.

On Monday, Alta Mesa Memorial Park, the only non-denominational cemetery within Palo Alto, declined to comment when asked if Jobs was buried there. The letter, as reported by MacGeneration, included the paragraph:

Although many of our hearts are still heavy, we are planning a celebration of his life for Apple employees to take time to remember the incredible things Steve achieved in his life and the many ways he made our world a better place. The celebration will be held on Wednesday, October 19, at 10am in the outdoor amphitheater on the Infinite Loop campus. We’ll have more details on AppleWeb closer to the date, including arrangements for employees outside of Cupertino.

Jobs passed away at the age of 56 last week. Jobs is survived by his wife Laurene and two children, as well as a daughter from a previous relationship. Jobs’ family has said that a memorial Web site will eventually be posted, but so far it has not been made public.

It’s official: Beyonce is pregnant!

Beyonce confirmed at the MTV VMAs that she's pregnant!

It’s official: Beyonce and Jay-Z are going to be parents! The 30-year-old singer confirmed the news on the MTV VMAs black carpet Sunday night.

OMG Beyonce just made a huge announcement on the #vma carpet! #baby!!!!!” MTV tweeted along with a photo of Beyonce clutching her stomach.

Beyonce pregnancy rumors have dogged the couple since they married in April 2008, including a huge rumor last fall that turned out to be false.

I always said I’d have a baby at 30,” she told CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier this summer. “I’m 29. But I also said I was going to retire at 30. I’m not retiring.

“I feel like a woman,” she revealed. “I feel like I’m very aware of who I am. I feel great and I feel like 30 is the ideal age [to start a family], because you’re mature enough to know who you are and to have your boundaries and your standards, and not be afraid, too polite — but you’re young enough to be a young woman,” she said. “I’m so looking forward to it.”

It looks like Beyonce is a few months along — and no word on whether or not it’s a baby Queen Bee or baby Hov.

Boy or girl, the Beyonce and Jay-Z baby is bound to be super talented.

Image courtesy MTV Twitter

Are you happy that Beyonce is pregnant? Do you think she’ll be a good mum (mom)?

Selena Gomez “dumps” Justin Bieber over new pals?

Young sweethearts Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez have reportedly broken up after the Disney star told Justin she didn’t approve of his new hip-hop music friends.

The Wizards Of Waverley Place star, who has been dating the Baby singer since the start of the year, has allegedly dumped the 17-year-old teen sensation because she is worried about the influence his new friends are having on him.

In recent weeks, Justin has been spending more time publicly with Sean Kingston, rapper Lil Wayne, and singer Chris Brown who has a new song with the Canadian teenager.

You'll leave me suicidal: Singers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, who have allegedly split up, at the 2011 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles last month.

Chris Brown became a figure of notoriety after he attacked his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 which resulted with the Only Girl In The World singer having to go to hospital and Brown being charged with assault and making criminal threats.

Lil Wayne meanwhile served eight months of a one year prison sentence in 2010 after pleading guilty to possession of a weapon.

Justin has been friends with Jamaican singer Sean Kingston since they recorded the song Eenie Meenie together in April 2010 and last weekend when Justin and Sean were driving around South Beach in a Rolls Royce convertible, they were pulled over by a police officer who thought it was suspicious that two youngsters should be driving such an expensive car.

Summer dreaming: Justin Bieber on vacation in Hawaii with Selena in earlier this year Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2023166/Selena-Gomez-dumps-Justin-Bieber-new-pals.html#ixzz1UGfGWXi8

Although the two boys didn’t break any law and were allowed to continue driving, it is thought that Selena didn’t like the attention that the incident drew to Justin.

The final straw allegedly came when Justin took Sean to watch Selena perform that same weekend in Florida.

A friend of Selena told the Sun newspaper: ‘Selena told him to stop hanging with these bad people. She didn’t want him to crash her gig.

[source: DailyMail.co.uk – Credit: J J ANISIOBI – Full Story]

BREAKING NEWS: Amy Winehouse, 27, found dead at her London flat

Amy Winehouse aged, 27

Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in London, it has been reported. The Back To Black singer was apparently found at 4pm and her death is believed to be unexplained.
Winehouse had been seen with her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield earlier this week as the teenager took to the stage at the iTunes festival.

While she didn’t perform any tracks, Winehouse apparently begged the crowds to buy Dionne’s album. A source said: “Amy staggered onstage and grabbed the mic to beg the crowd to buy her protege’s new album.” Winehouse’s appearance at the concert came after she cancelled her European tour following a disastrous performance in June when she stumbled onto the stage in Belgrade and gave an incoherent performance appearing very disorientated and removed from reality.

Following the concert which saw fans enraged and the subsequent video that circulated to millions she cancelled the remaining dates of her European tour. A statement released by the troubled singer’s spokesperson said that the 27-year-old would be given ‘as long as it takes’ to recover. The statement read “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.