Jennifer Garner opened up in 2021 about how her children have handled growing up with their famous parents in the spotlight.
In a cover story for The Hollywood Reporter, The Yes Day actress says she has very few family photos since her kids were traumatized by cameras and feared the devices when they were younger.
Garner, who shares her kids with ex-husband Ben Affleck, says the constant cameras following them “put so much anxiety in our little family.”
“… I’d go do a school run and it’d be 15 cars going with me. I never had a day without them, and if I did, if I made it to a park by hiding in the bottom of the pool man’s truck or something, then a nanny would see me there and call a number and they’d swarm,” she recalls.
During a conversation on PBS’ Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan in October 2020, Garner 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.
“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 at the time. “And you’re begging them, ‘Please step aside from the pediatrician’s door. I have a sick kid. Please.’ “
Jennifer also told the Hollywood Reporter about a heartbreaking moment she had in the summer of 2021, when she was finally able to take her kids to the beach under the guise of face masks. She had to explain to her kids why the beach was usually off-limits for them.
“I told them, ‘We’d try to go and we’d just get chased away.’ … You’re not just ruining the experience for your family, you’re ruining it for everybody [on the beach]. It’s like, ‘Who wants to have us around?'”
She added that her daughter, Violet, used to have to dodge the paparazzi at her school, and was even kicked off her soccer team because of their constant presence. Jennifer recalled a moment when she invited the police to her home to discuss the issue, and Violet pled with them for help:
Violet’s hyper-articulate — she is Ben Affleck’s daughter. And she stood up on a chair in a little velvet dress, with her hair a bit back and her glasses on and she didn’t say her Rs right, and she said, “We didn’t ask for this. We don’t want these cameras, they’re scary. The men are scary, they knock each other over and it’s hard to feel like a kid when you’re being chased.”
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.