Jennifer Garner detailed the impact of paparazzi to her children when she recently appeared on PBS’ Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan.
The actress recalled how photographers would follow her and former husband, Ben Affleck, as well as their three children namely Violet, 14, Seraphina, 11, and Samuel, 8, every single day of the week.
Garner shared, “For 10 years there were at the very least six cars and often 20 outside of our house, and outside of school, and at the pediatrician’s. And you’re begging them, ‘Please step aside from the pediatrician’s door. I have a sick kid. Please.'”
“Who cares about some dumb celebrity problem? Unless it’s your child going through it, it’s not worth anyone’s attention or bother. It’s a cost of doing business but it just got to be ridiculous,” she added.
Garner mentioned that paparazzi were “causing car accidents all the time.” She remembered how “she’d go through a yellow light and there would be 15 cars that would go through the red light without compunction.”
The actress isn’t the only one who complained what celebrities like her had to go through in the hands and lens of paparazzi. In 2013, she and actress, Halle Berry, appeared before lawmakers in California to testify and support a bill that would make photographing children without consent from their legal guardians a crime.
Her daughter who was only 5 years old then delivered a speech wherein she described how she felt about the paparazzi. Her daughter said she was scared of them and they looked like guns.
Governor Jerry Brown of California signed the bill into law in September of that year and as Garner put it, “did make a huge difference.”
However, she revealed that not all of them are bad. “I just loathe them so much and what they do, but there are a couple of them that have been with me for so long,” she shared. “They’ve been assigned to me for 15 years. One of them said to me one day, ‘You don’t know how much we love watching you with your children. You don’t know how much we respect you.'”
She also talked about her relationship with Affleck especially their separation in 2015 which she described as a “self-fulfilling prophecy” brought on by the never-ending coverage of the media of their marriage.
She explained, “I think there’s something about seeing yourselves reflected in news of some kind—and whether it’s true or not. If it’s true and you are starting to be serious with someone and they start saying, ‘Well, when are they gonna be engaged?,’ it’s almost like you just want to get there so that you can complete that and just maybe it will die down for a second.”
“You’re always kind of chasing peace, and because it’s already been in print it feels like it’s a done deal already, whatever it is… And then it’s immediately, ‘Trouble in paradise.’ And it becomes almost a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she added.
All these and more helped her saw the importance of guarding herself from the opinions of others.
Garner said, “The most powerful decision I have made for myself was to never ever put myself at risk of seeing my own image or a story about me, which is not easy. It means I cannot look at anything because CNN has celebrity stuff. I can’t have an Apple News feed, I can’t look at Huffington Post… You would see stuff and go down a rabbit hole… I just had to be completely disciplined about it and I am.”