Free «Does The Public Have a Right to Know about a Public Figure’s Private Life» Essay Sample


Public Figures are people who are well known in the society and are famous for the roles they play. They include artists, politicians and athletes among other celebrities. Photos of artists as they go about their day to day activities are all over media. We are curious to know their daily life and how it can be separated from the cameras.  Human beings are naturally inclined to love news about famous people, their personalities, their relationships and the challenges they are facing in life. Gossip reporters are always ready to feed us with the needed information through all forms of media. It is uncouth to pry into a person’s private life. The society today makes it look fashionable and no one finds anything amiss with that. The camera and reality are two different worlds. Celebrities are normal people, and they have a right to private life. The society has no right to know about a public figure’s private life.

It is annoying to have always had HD cameras capturing all the events that happen in your life. One always has to be cautious of every activity they do because one never knows who might be watching. Celebrities are forced to live a lie to impress the public and hide their real images. This is torture to the rights of a citizen, and they do not have freedom of movement and expression.

Some citizens claim that they have a right to know the private lives of their leaders so that they are assured of their leadership. It is rather obvious that private morality does not always have a direct relationship with a person’s ability to do work. It is rude to make celebrities feel like puppets who are perfect and have their behavior under control.  Newspaper reporters are always ready to give the latest news on issues affecting leaders in the society. This stresses the leaders even more and may cause their marriages to fail and the undue pressure lead to underperformance in their work area (Nordhaus, 287).

The Research Story

The topic of interest captured my attention as I was concerned about the media prying so much into the private lives of celebrities. The plea of Tiger Woods, a famous professional golfer, had his private life pried and his dirty linen exposed to the curious public. According to Brady & Dimeglio, Woods did not like public scrutiny when he said, “Although I am a well-known person and have made my career as a professional Athlete, I have been dismayed to realize the full extent of what tabloid scrutiny really means." He expresses the need for privacy and the destructive results media has inflicted in his life (Brady & Dimeglio).

The local daily newspapers featured news about Mark Mosley, a world motorsport boss, regarding his participation in a sex orgy having Nazi overtones. The paper published his private affairs and made him attest to have had sadomasochistic sex session. He confessed that he had a sex session with five prostitutes but said it did not have Nazi theme. One of the women who took part in the sex session publicized the video which she had secretly taken. The daily newspapers had extracts of the video featured in the news and other parts of the video displayed for public view all over the internet. Mosley was greatly offended as the act was infringing his right to freedom. The court discussed the case and the judge made a ruling which favored Mosley (BBC News, 2012).

In both cases, the privacy of the celebrities is interfered with, and embarrassing news is spread about them. The challenge faced while conducting the research is the ability to discern which news is genuine from the rumors. In both cases, the news reported could have been exaggerated with little elements of truth in it. Despite the information having some aspects of truth, this may have been overrated, and before any changes are made, the emotional, physiological and social damages are already experienced.

The Results                                                                    

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Different cases are dealt with in different manners. The public figures may have their stories posted all over media for short periods of time while others have to bear with the news as long as they are still faced by their challenges. The case of Whitney Houston, she was a famous musician who battled with drug addiction at some point in her life. Pictures of her drunken state were all over media and her story used as a reference point to all the people who were addicted to drugs. Media scrutiny was one of her greatest torments and yet they still did not do away with the situation (Parsons, 33).

Woods’ plea was deterred by a public relations executive, Mike Paul, who holds a different position. He says the privacy rights of Woods were traded for his popularity once he became a pro in 1996 and had an endorsement contract with Nike. He states that he is paid a lot of money for his fame and public scrutiny is a price he has to pay for his popularity. Woods positioned himself as a role model and a symbol of excellence, and he had to be on the spotlight. Paul says that Woods private life is the focal point of interest to thousands of people who are interested in his achievement and want to know how his success. It is not easy to separate fame from public scrutiny (Brady and Dimeglio).

Mosley’s case was filed and he sued the newspaper for infringing his privacy and giving false information about his Nazi attitude. Despite the compensation given to him by the company, his reputation was already ruined, and private information exposed to the general public. "It demonstrates that their Nazi lie was completely invented and had no justification," these words were spoken to justify his innocence and reinforce the destructive nature media had by Mosley outside the court room. As a result, he lost his job and his family was devastated. (BBC News).

Top politicians, such as President John F. Kennedy were also victims of public figure scrutiny. The president’s secret marital affair was published in all the local newspapers and all over the internet. His failed marriage was a topic of discussion among all the people at that point in time. It is annoying to have negative information about the top leaders in the country. This was humiliating to the president and there was no need to mess with his personal life (Ethlers, 9).

The prime Minister of France, Nicholas Sarcozy had rumors going around about his alleged divorce. He was also involved in a cheating scandal and this was not the best news to be spread about the leader of the nation. Such rumors make people to lose faith in the leader and his leadership ability questioned.

Proponents of supporters of media scrutiny are right to argue that fame brings one’s life to the public spotlight, but they exaggerate the claim that the person’s life belongs to the public. The annoying thing about media is the emphasis they make in the odds that affect the life of a person. Less emphasis is placed on information regarding their victories and the achievements they have fulfilled in life. The reports are always prying on information which leaves the victim emotionally crushed and devastated. Fame is a good way of turning a person into a puppet that is to please the entire nation (Parsons, 33).

Despite this scrutiny, it is amusing to note that some of the celebrities intentionally attract the attention of the media by revealing outrageous details about their personal lives.  All this is done with the aim of seeking popularity in a world thirsty for it. In this case, it would be inappropriate blame the media for press intrusion as the definition of career success is changing (Ingram).

Media is a free tool used to spread information in the sense that it is always ready to give the latest news that would excite the public. News about people who are well known in the society is easy to write home about as opposed to people with no titles and a significant role they play in society. This gives room for the public figures to be discussed because they are well known and their stories would interest a larger audience. Efforts to minimize this scrutiny are futile as most people will always look up to exciting news and one way to have such news is investigating the lives of icons in the society (Ingram).


This research can be termed as successful for quite a number of reasons. It is crucial to note that the freedom of expression that is given to media has been abused and used to disadvantage public figures. The public figures are put on the spotlight in the sense that their activities monitored. They do not have any freedom to have their private lives away from the media. Every step they take is scrutinized and evaluated for the general excitement of the public. The public is always open to receive such news without regarding the emotional and psychological torture it has on the victim (Brady & Dimeglio).

The research question is answered since the sources I retrieved the information from were reliable and had details related to the scrutiny of the private life of public figures. While conducting the research, I learnt that the scrutiny of public figures has a significant impact on their emotions and their psychological state. Their family members are also diversely affected by the information that is given regarding their private life. In most cases, the information may be wrong yet the impact felt is still the same and the celebrities are not able to justify their actions. They are not given a chance to express their opinions and their views (Ethlers, 7).

While it is true that the media pries into the private lives of public figures, it does not necessarily mean that the celebrities do not take part in it. It is particularly amusing to discover that there are some public figures that get themselves into scandals just to gain fame. They make all their private information known to the public with the aim of being more popular than they were before (Ethlers, 4).

According to the findings of my research, prying into the private life of the celebrities will not come to an end any time soon. They are public figures, and they are looked up upon as role models. Their lives will constantly be in check, and they will need to be, therefore, keen and keep a low profile of the activities they do in private. I have learnt not to spread rumors about public figures since it causes emotional damage and I have no proof as to whether the information given is true or not (Ingram).


Public figures are people who are popular in the nation, and they attract a large audience. Many people look up to them as their role models making the media use their freedom to keep the viewers updated. They are updated on the latest developments in the lives of celebrities, and this may mean prying into their private lives. Celebrities are just like ordinary people who are famous and do not have any advantages that make them less human. They err like normal people and thus too much scrutiny of their personal lives should be minimized. They are to be respected as role models and be left to live their lives as they desire. Too much follow up turns them into puppets of the nation and thus they end up living a lie all their lives.


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