Jennifer Garner Talks Harrowing Impact the Paparazzi Has Had on Her Life and Kids

Georgia Slater
·3 min read

Jennifer Garner is candidly reflecting on how a decade of being followed by the paparazzi has impacted her life and family.

During an intimate conversation on PBS' Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan earlier this month, the actress and entrepreneur explained that while she understood the constant attention was a "cost of doing business," it eventually came to a point where it began to negatively affect her kids.

The Dallas Buyers Club star — who shares son Samuel, 8, and daughters Seraphina, 11, and Violet, 14, with ex-husband Ben Affleck — revealed that for an entire decade her family was always surrounded by cameras.

"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," she recalled. "And you're begging them, ‘Please step aside from the pediatrician's door. I have a sick kid. Please.' "

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"It's a cost of doing business but it just got to be ridiculous," the 48-year-old added.

So much so, Garner noted, that the paparazzi were "causing car accidents all the time."

"I'd go through a yellow light and there would be 15 cars that would go through the red light without compunction," she said.

Garner then revealed how constantly being followed had a major impact on her kids.

"Anywhere that we went it was a total circus," she said before recalling one example. "My one daughter tried to play soccer and it was such a zoo for the families that they just said, ‘Can you please not,’" she said.

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In 2013, Garner and a team of celebrity parents led by Halle Berry decided to take action on the issue and passed a bill that made it a crime for paparazzi to photograph children without permission.

The Love, Simon actress recalled holding a meeting with authorities at her home to discuss the intrusiveness of the paparazzi, during which she said one of her daughters — Garner didn't specify which one —spoke out about being "scared" of the shutterbugs.

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Her daughter, who the actress said was 5 years old at the time, opened up about "what it's like to be a little kid and to have all these huge cameras running toward you, running toward your mom, running after you when you go to school and having other kids scared of it."

"I'm scared of them," the star's daughter previously said. "They look like guns."

Since passing the bill in September of that year, Garner said it has made a "huge difference."

The actress added that she has even formed personal relationships with a few of the photographers.

"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 told Corrigan. "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.'"

"They do know me better than anyone knows me," Garner added. "They go everywhere where I go. They've seen me strap kids into cars, they've seen me pregnant, they've seen me at the store."