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J.K. Rowling chased from home by press, she says

Richard Allen Greene CNN 11/25/2011 23:55
J.K. Rowling chased from home by press, she says - J.K. Rowling - media

Paparazzi hounded "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling so constantly after her children were born that she felt like a hostage in her own house, she told a government-backed inquiry into British press ethics and practices Thursday.

She could not go outside without being photographed for a week after the births of her second and third children, she told the Leveson Inquiry.

And it was "hard to say how I angry I was" at finding that a journalist had managed to slip a note into her 5-year-old daughter's school bag, she said.

"A child, no matter who their parents are, deserves privacy. ... It's a fairly black-and-white issue," she said, arguing that a child had no say in who their parents were or what they did.

She had to move out of an earlier house because of harassment by journalists, she said.

"I really was a sitting duck for anyone that wanted to find me," Rowling said of the home she bought just as her fictional boy wizard became a worldwide sensation in 1997.

Rowling then described how a manuscript of one of her books was stolen from the printers and came into the hands of The Sun newspaper after apparently being found by an unemployed man "in a field."

She had to take legal action to prevent the contents of the book being revealed pre-publication, she said, and felt The Sun was trying to turn the situation into a photo opportunity.

"I felt I was being blackmailed -- what they really wanted was a photo of me gratefully receiving back the stolen manuscript," she said.

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