14 Celebs Who Opened Up About Becoming A "Recluse" Because Of Media Attention, And 9 Who Reportedly Called The Paparazzi On Themselves

14 Celebs Who Opened Up About Becoming A "Recluse" Because Of Media Attention, And 9 Who Reportedly Called The Paparazzi On Themselves
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14 Celebs Who Opened Up About Becoming A "Recluse" Because Of Media Attention, And 9 Who Reportedly Called The Paparazzi On Themselves

Recently, Chloë Grace Moretz opened up about a paparazzi pic-turned-viral meme that made her so anxious about being photographed that she "basically became a recluse." While she's not alone in that experience, there are also some celebs who embrace that kind of attention and reportedly stage paparazzi pictures.

uJMHElHSu_large.jpg?crop=245%3A245%3B0%2C0&downsize=60:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Kristen Harris

BuzzFeed Staff


Having a career in the public eye means that, when you're out in public, there are going to be eyes on you. While some celebs are okay with being photographed, a lot of them admittedly hate the extra level of scrutiny.


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Others, however, know how to leverage the paparazzi's attention to help boost their celebrity status, so they call the photographers themselves.


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Here are 14 celebrities who opened up about hating media attention:

1. In 2016, Chloë Grace Moretz was photographed carrying two pizza boxes to her hotel while wearing shorts. After the picture was edited into a viral meme poking fun at the length of her legs, it was "something very hard for [her] to overcome" and she "basically became a recluse."


Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

She told Hunger, "It was great because I got away from the photographers, and I was able to be myself, and to have so many experiences that people didn’t photograph, but at the same time, it made me severely anxious when I was photographed. My heart rate would rise, and I would hyperventilate."


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2. After the release of Dark Phoenix in 2019, Jennifer Lawrence took an extended break from public life because she felt that "everybody had gotten sick of [her]" and "it had just gotten to a point where [she] couldn't do anything right."


Amy Sussman / Getty Images

She told Vanity Fair, "I think that I was people-pleasing for the majority of my life. Working made me feel like nobody could be mad at me: 'Okay, I said yes, we’re doing it. Nobody’s mad.' And then, I felt like I reached a point where people were not pleased just by my existence. So, that kind of shook me out of thinking that work or your career can bring any kind of peace to your soul."


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The constant paparazzi attention has been a source of Jennifer's anxiety for years. At a 2014 press conference, she said, "I knew the paparazzi were going to be a reality in my life, but I didn't know that I would feel anxiety every time I open my front door, or that being chased by 10 men you don't know, or being surrounded, feels invasive and makes me feel scared and gets my adrenaline going every day."


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3. After Kanye West and Kim Kardashian publicly accused Taylor Swift of lying about giving him permission to use the lyric "I made that bitch famous" about her in his song "Famous," Taylor disappeared from public life for a year.


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In her documentary Miss Americana, Taylor said, "Nobody physically saw me for a year. And that was what I thought they wanted."


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She also said, "When people decided I was wicked and evil and conniving and not a good person...that was the one thing I couldn't really bounce back from, because my whole life was centered around it. The reason why that backlash hurt so much was because that used to be all I had."

4. After Kelly Marie Tran was cast in Star Wars, she faced such intense online harassment that she deleted all of her Instagram posts. She told the Hollywood Reporter, "I left. I said no to a lot of things. It felt like I was just hearing the voice of my agents and my publicity team and all of these people telling me what to say and what to do and how to feel. And I realized, I didn’t know how I felt anymore. And I didn’t remember why I was in this in the first place."


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She continued, "Any time that happens, I have to close up shop and go away for a while and really interact in the real world — read books and journal and go on hikes and look at a tree and remind myself that there was a fire that burned inside of me before Star Wars, before any of this. And I needed to find that again."


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5. When Daniel Radcliffe was starring in the stage play Equus, he had to deal with a crowd of paparazzi every night — until he "suddenly realized after [he] had just been lazy and not changed [his] clothes for a few days, that they were not there."


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He told The Kelly Clarkson Show, "I realized it’s probably because I’m wearing the same thing so it all looks like photos from the same day. So, I was like, 'I’ll just continue wearing this.' And they never came back because it all looks like the same picture in front of the same door."


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"The small victories against the paparazzis is always the ones you have to, like, celebrate," he said.

6. During Jennifer Garner's marriage to Ben Affleck, she "never had a day without" paparazzi following her unless she took extreme measures to avoid them.


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She told the Hollywood Reporter, "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."


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She also said that the media attention on her family was so intense that her daughter was kicked off a soccer team because of it.

7. Ashley Benson said that paparazzi attention is "the one reason why [she] hate[s] being in this industry." She can't leave her house "without getting photographed," which "almost causes car wrecks."


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On Paris Hilton's podcast This Is Paris, she said, "There [are] times [when] I just don’t even want to leave my house or feel like I can go on a hike or do whatever because for whatever reason, they just follow me and want to take my photo."


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8. After paparazzi pictures of Zendaya and Tom Holland kissing went viral in July 2021, they "sort of felt robbed of [their] privacy" because they both intended to keep their relationship private.


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Tom told GQ, "I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway. ... I don’t think it’s about not being ready. It’s just that we didn’t want to."


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In the same interview, Zendaya said, "It was quite strange and weird and confusing and invasive. The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own. ... I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other."


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9. After a paparazzi picture of Billie Eilish wearing a tank top went viral, she explained that she preferred to wear oversized clothes in public because "it kind of gives nobody the opportunity to judge what your body looks like."


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She told Vogue Australia, "I don’t want to give anyone the excuse of judging. And it’s not like everyone’s going to judge you, but they all do in their head. Like, even if you’re not even trying to. Anything you look at, you judge. That’s just how we all work, that’s how human beings work."


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10. Paris Jackson called out paparazzi who yelled at her for refusing to show her face to the cameras. On Twitter, she explained that they don't get paid unless they get her face in the picture. She said they yelled, "Michael [Jackson, her dad] would have never done that!! Ugh!!!" even though "he did…a lot."


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She continued, "Does no one remember the hundreds of unique disguises he came up with all the time?"


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11. When Charli D'Amelio was only 16, she publicly begged paparazzi to "please stop waiting outside [her] house."


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On her podcast 2 Chix, she said, "Super weird, super uncomfortable, big invasion of privacy. Home is supposed to be a safe place, not a place where you have people waiting for you."


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She also alleged that she'd try to address the issue with the photographers in question directly, but they still followed her the same day. 

She said, "I was like, 'Hey, I just want to let you know, I've been able to create a great friendship with you guys. I really do appreciate and I understand that this is your job. But just the waiting outside the house thing just really isn't cool.' They were like, 'Got it.'"

Her sister/cohost Dixie added, "Every time I leave my apartment, they're illegally parked right outside and then follow me all the way to [Charli's] house."


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12. Grimes trolled the paparazzi by reading The Communist Manifesto while taking a walk after her breakup with Elon Musk.


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The pictures are exclusive to the NY Post, so you can see them here.

On Instagram, she said, "I was really stressed when paparazzi wouldn’t stop following me this [week], but then I realized it was opportunity to troll."


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13. While Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were dating, they combated paparazzi attention by covering their faces with handwritten signs promoting several charities.


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Emma's sign said, "We were eating and saw a group of guys with cameras outside. And so we thought, let's try this again. We don't need the attention, but these wonderful organizations do." Then, Andrew's listed the organizations.


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14. And finally, Lindsay Lohan enjoys running her club in Mykonos because she's "not in America, so no one knows about it, which is nice for [her]" and she gets to "actually focus on the result of things."


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She told the New York Times that "[her] past has to stay in the past" and that the public has never really known her. She said, "I think success is the best revenge — and silence, as a presence. When I chose to change my future, my life, I was like, 'Where’s the one place I can find silence?'"


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She eventually moved to Dubai to secure that sense of peace. She told W Magazine, "There’s a certain calmness that I find there. There’s no paparazzi, no cameras; that’s a big deal for me."


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She continued, "I never considered people taking a picture 'bothering' me, but I don’t want people to misinterpret who I am as a person if they see me sneezing and they say I’m crying. I do really appreciate having the life where I can just go outside and not have to worry."

And now, here are 9 celebs who reportedly call the paparazzi on themselves:

15. Julia Fox purposefully courts the paparazzi's attention when she's sporting one of her bold fashion looks.


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On her Instagram story, she said, "Decided to walk to increase the chances of being papped cuz the world needs this look. You're welcome."


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16. Heidi Pratt has a decade-long track record of cheekily staging paparazzi pictures.


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After opening up about her decision to eat raw meat on Instagram, she smiled for paparazzi pictures while eating a raw bison heart.


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17. Prior to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding in 2018, her father Thomas Markle worked with the tabloids to stage pictures — which sparked his estrangement from his daughter.


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In a clip from her and Harry's interview with Oprah, Meghan said, "The tabloids had apparently known [his location] for a month or so and decided to hold until the Sunday before our wedding because they wanted to create drama. When we were told by the comms team that this was a story, we called my dad, and I asked him [about staging the photos]. He said, 'No, absolutely not.'"


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She continued, "I said, 'The institution has never intervened on anything for us, but they can try to go in and kill this story. But if they do this once, we're not going to be able to use that same leverage to protect our own kids one day.' I said, 'I just need you to tell me, and if you tell me the truth, we can help,' and he wasn't able to do that. And that, for me, has really resonated, especially now as a mother."

18. Katie Holmes reportedly worked with a hair care brand that employed staged paparazzi pictures to subtly promote its products.


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Tyler Williams, the beauty PR firm CEO who worked with that brand, told Bustle, "One of the tactics we would use occasionally — beyond her being our face for advertising, videos, and media interviews — was staging a photo of her shopping at Sephora with our newest product."


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He continued, "The talent gets a fee, we agree to a location and what the photos will look like — if they’re walking down the street or pulling a product out of their bag at lunch."

19. NYC-based photographer Justin Steffman alleged that Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin "worked directly with an infamous paparazzi photographer in New York" when their daughter Apple was born.


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He told Cosmopolitan, "Together, they staged the first baby photos and made them look like candid pictures, then they sold the shots to a major magazine. The pictures were rumored to sell for upward of a million dollars. The paparazzi got a cut, and they took the rest."


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20. Justin also alleged that Kim Kardashian "has a personal paparazzi who she texts regularly."


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He told Cosmopolitan, "This man flies around the world, going wherever she asks him to be, and they work together to produce the latest fake paparazzi pictures of her. She reviews every image before they start selling them to magazines. If they shoot on a beach, these images are heavily Photoshopped, and she chooses her favorites to sell."


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21. After her time on Love Island ended in 2016, influencer Malin Andersson arranged staged shoots.


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She told the Guardian, "I openly admit to that. It was so fucking weird. I’d pretend to be on my phone. I felt so awkward doing it. But then, it became a norm."


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She continued, "Seeing myself in the Mail gave me validation, but it was empty validation. Because the article would drop down in five minutes and you’d want the next one. It becomes a bit of an addiction, and you start chasing it more."

22. Rachel Finni, a 2021 Love Island contestant and influencer, learned about staged paparazzi pictures from a friend who was a minor celebrity.


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She told the Guardian, "He said: ‘Honey, paps only come if you call them!' ... Seeing yourself in the papers and magazines every other day is the most incredible feeling."


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However, she's since stopped staging pictures.

She said, "It doesn’t do anything for me, but to remind people I exist. And how does it benefit me to remind people I exist? It’s so empty."

23. And finally, Rihanna announced her pregnancy through a staged paparazzi picture captured by celebrity photographer Miles Diggs.


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On Instagram, he wrote, "To be blessed with this opportunity is something I never could’ve dreamt of."


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Paparazzo Jesal Parshotam told the Guardian, "He is trusted. She’s worked with him for over 10 years. If we’re in a crowd of 10 photographers, I’ve seen her stop and hug him."

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