Clintons fail to prevent breach of Chelsea's privacy

WHATEVER BILL and Hillary Clinton's differences, they have been constantly united on one priority: the protection of their only daughter's privacy. So when they discovered that People magazine, one of the so- called "supermarket tabloids", was planning a cover story on Chelsea and the mother-daughter relationship, they did their best to discourage it.

But late on Wednesday, they had to admit defeat, and in a move without precedent in their six years at the White House, the First Couple issued a pained statement of protest against a specific publication.

"Unfortunately, despite personal appeals with respect to her privacy and her security from her parents, People has chosen to run the story," it said.

"We deeply regret and are profoundly saddened" by the decision, the Clintons said.

People, owned by Time Warner, was unapologetic. Its managing editor, Carol Wallace, said: "Over the years we've written about the Clinton family in good times and bad. Chelsea is nearly 19 years old and a poised young adult. We feel that because she is an eyewitness to the family drama and historical events unfolding around her, she is a valid journalistic subject."

For Hillary, but especially for Bill Clinton, the end of the US media's respect for Chelsea's privacy may be the cruellest consequence of the Lewinsky affair. Chelsea is a second-year medical student at Stanford University in California and her closeness to both parents has long been evident, as has their concern to shield her from the limelight.

During the 1996 presidential campaign, they rejected her pleas to join the campaign trail, but have gradually loosened the leash, relying on what those familiar with the British tabloids would find to be the remarkable restraint of the US media.

Parental calls for her to be left alone when she went to college 18 months ago were largely heeded by the press, with only the odd diary note about a boyfriend.

Chelsea, meanwhile, regularly accompanied her parents on foreign trips, most recently to China. Last year, she also travelled with Hillary on her African tour, a trip that marked a debut of a kind into public life.

However, with the rumours, and finally the confirmation, of the President's affair with awoman only five years older than his daughter, the media's restraint started to break down. The poignant pictures of Chelsea, walking hand-in-hand between her parents as they crossed the White House lawn to the presidential helicopter the day after her father's confession, were taken as symbolic - Chelsea was holding the family together.

Such public appearances and her spontaneous move to gladhand the crowd at Martha's Vineyard when the unhappy First Couple arrived on holiday last August, gave the tabloids the opening they wanted. Not only was Chelsea now legally an adult, but she was taking a political role. She was fair game.

A barrier was broken by the tabloid New York Post, which printed a story in the autumn about Chelsea breaking up with her "first serious boyfriend" and seeking counselling as a consequence of her father's troubles. The broadsheet papers and television appeared embarrassed rather than liberated by People's decision to publish, burying reports of the Clintons' protest downpage.

The effect of the Lewinsky scandal on Chelsea has been hinted at by the President's half-brother, Roger, who said she had been "deeply shaken" by the scandal, "like Hillary".

The evening before her father's televised admission, she reportedly asked to see Rev Jesse Jackson, a regular visitor and counsellor to the Clintons, who spent the whole evening consoling her.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk