David Beckham And Katie Price Have 'Commoditised' Their Children, Says Daily Mirror Editor

First Posted: 23/01/2012 16:07 Updated: 23/01/2012 16:54

David And Victoria Beckham

David Beckham and Katy Price have "commoditised" their children, said the editor of the Daily Mirror.

Appearing before the parliamentary privacy and injunctions committee on Monday afternoon, Richard Wallace said this was because the former England football captain had allowed his children to be photographed in order to promote "brand Beckham" and the notion he had a "perfect family".

But he stressed that to his mind it was "off limits full stop" to focus stories on children, and that each article or photograph of a celebrity had to be approached on its own merits.

"If one is presented with story about JK Rowling, one looks at that in a different way than how one looks at Katie Price or someone who regularly commoditises their privacy," he said.

He added: "It's about how much people have put their lives and selves in the public sphere."

Wallace's view was backed up by Trinity Mirror's legal director Marcus Partington, who noted that David Beckham had taken his children on to the pitch after a Real Madrid game so they could be photographed, and that Victoria Beckham had taken her children on stage when the Spice Girls performed at the O2 Arena in London.

He contrasted the attitude of the Beckhams and Price with JK Rowling who is famously protective of her children's privacy.

"I don't think the Beckhams are the same as Katie Price, but I think they have taken a different attitude to their children than JK Rowling," he said.

"That is a classic example where one person has taken steps to ensure their children are not in the public domain and people who have positively put them in the public domain and positively used them," he said.

Partington said that while the fact Price had made documentaries with her children, this did not mean she gave up the right to privacy. But he said it was "a factor" the paper would use when deciding how to approach stories.

Wallace also spoke of a unnamed Premier League footballer and his pregnant wife who had "consistently commoditsed their privacy" in certain ways but who had sent a legal notice to the Daily Mirror to warn them off publishing photographs of the family.

"In December of 2011 the footballer and now un-pregnant wife were on the front cover of celebrity magazine introducing their child to the world," he said.

He added: "This makes it very difficult as an editor to understand where the boundaries are."

Appearing before the Leveson inquiry into press ethics last week, the editors of Heat, OK! and Hello! said that celebrities often felt comfortable agreeing to be photographed with their children for their publications as they were given greater control over how they were presented.

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Filed by Ned Simons  |