JK Rowlings – JK Rowlings describes a life of harassment. The paparazzi outside her door. The callers posing as someone else to glean information. The reporter who slipped a note into her daughter’s backpack.It was a relentless pursuit by the press that she couldn’t just make vanish, and on Thursday, the creator of boy wizard Harry Potter described the impact it had on her and her family.
“It feels threatening to have people watching you,” J.K. Rowling said, adding: “The cumulative effect … becomes quite draining.”
She even tried chasing down a photographer who had lain in wait in front of her home when she emerged with her newborn, until her older daughter told her to “calm down.”
“I felt completely trapped in the house, and of course that had a massive effect on the children,” Rowling said.
The celebrity author recounted her experiences with Britain’s aggressive media before a judge-led inquiry into press standards here in a London courtroom. The inquiry, launched in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that exposed illegal practices by a bestselling tabloid in search of sensational copy, could lead to greater regulation of Britain’s fiercely competitive media industry.
Rowling, 46, was the last witness to testify this week in a lineup heavy on star power. Earlier, actors Hugh Grant and Sienna Miller also told of their run-ins with insatiable and often threatening journalists, while parents of missing and murdered children described how they were hounded, bullied, smeared and even blackmailed by seemingly remorseless tabloids.
But that sometimes proved impossible when photographers with telephoto lenses lurked unseen and journalists found ways around her defenses. In one particularly galling incident, she said, she discovered a note from a reporter stuffed into her daughter’s knapsack.
“I felt such a sense of invasion,” Rowling told the inquiry. “It’s very difficult to say … how angry I felt that my 5-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of, you know, complete security from journalists.”