People with high profile jobs sacrifice a certain amount of freedom. That much is generally accepted by even most privacy advocates, but where the ultimate line between acceptable and invasive lies is a neverending argument. It was being debated during Hollywood’s formative years, and right now it’s being hashed out again in a UK media ethics inquiry. For the past few days, celebrities such as Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller have been testifying in the wake of the News Of The World scandal, and their stories have been shocking and even a bit scary. Still, their dreadful ordeals seem a bit pedestrian compared with J.K. Rowling.

The Harry Potter author took the stand in London yesterday and revealed how she was routinely chased by photographers trying to get pictures of her children. Once, a particularly crafty and unethical photographer apparently even snuck a note into her daughter’s school lunch. A manuscript for one of her Harry Potter books was also stolen, and a paper ran a completely fabricated story about her husband quitting work to dote on his “rich wife”.

According to CNN, Rowling hammered home that fact that children, regardless of what their parents do for a living, need privacy. That’s why she ultimately moved into a house where she could better manage the press, but if it were up to her, laws would be enacted to curb some of the abuses. The author made it very clear she supports freedom of the press, just not a freedom to invade privacy.

We won’t know for awhile what, if anything, the UK media inquiry will change, but if the scary stories are enough to push parliament into action, it could cause a ripple that leads to the United States. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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