Here's the good news: just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean we get to look inside your life and tear it apart.
Here's the bad news: just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you get to tear your own life apart and then ask that we not look.
Let's say you're a young golfer and before you even step onto a course we've heard from your father how great you already are and how great you're going to be. I mean your dad does a great PR job on. So much so that we actually pay attention and we watch you as you make your professional debut.
And what do you know? Your dad was right. You are good. In fact, you're pretty great. We watch you some more because we are amazed at your talent. Does that mean we get to look into your private life?
No. But you offer us glimpses. Which is your right. You get to make up the rules that govern your privacy. It is YOUR privacy, after all. You shouldn't have to ask me to respect it. You should build the rules that tell me how I should treat it.
OK, so now you know that we are interested in you. In fact, you generate so much interest that companies are now coming to you and asking that you be the face for their product.
Your privacy firewall needs to change.
You are no longer just on the golf course. You are now representing a company. So your behavior and your decisions need to take into account the impact on your life and theirs. Does that mean I now get to invade your privacy?
Nope. But you have agreed to become more exposed. You are now on the t and v and radio. You do more interviews because the company wants the exposure they're paying you to get them. So while I still don't get to peek into your private life, you need to make the adjustment that I'm going to look just a little bit harder.
Let's say you get married. A marriage is a private and personal contract and that contract has to be made with your circumstances in mind: your wealth, your job, your public exposure. You need to make an agreement with your spouse about how your circumstances will not bring harm to your privacy - which now includes her and any little cubs that you have.
So, does being married mean I get to look into your private life?
Then you decide to take yourself a girlfriend...or a dozen.
Now, that doesn't violate your personal privacy agreement. It does, however, violate the privacy agreement you made with the companies you agreed to represent if you have a morals clause and it definitely violates the privacy agreement you have with your wife because most marriages do come with a pretty specific morals clause about keeping yourself only unto them.
So, the only agreement that has not been broken is the one you have with the girlfriends.
Does that mean I can pick apart your private life?
No. But your wife can. She's now free to come after you with a golf club in public - after all, the deal is over. You broke it. She's no longer obligated to keep anything - except mebbe some of that lovely money.
Your business partners can, too. After all, you put them at risk for losing the money they've already paid you in advance that might not be made up because of the decision you made. They can publicly or privately decide to dump you or decide to stick with you long enough to look at the profit margins.
None of the above puts you in danger of me until.....
your girlfriend(s) decide to break her/their agreement with you and send your texts, emails and voice mail all over creation. Then you can ask for all the privacy you want and I will agree not to talk to you...
because I don't need you. I have your texts, emails and voice mails. Thanks. It's not your privacy; it's your girlfriends' business that they're willing to share. It just happens to be about you. But, hey, I respect your wanting to get your family life together and I won't comment at all about the only reason you want to is because you're caught. That's all your business. And I am nothing if not respectful.
But I'm going to talk with all those women who are willing to talk to me. And you don't get to say anything about that. You set the rules, you broke the rules. We're all now walking through the broken pieces picking up what we can. You have the right to ask for your privacy but don't be surprised if I don't respect your lack of self-respect.
You want your privacy back? You will now have to make an agreement with me. You will promise to live the most boring life you can except when you're on the golf course. And I will agree to grow bored of you and leave you alone except on the golf course. I will, of course, push that. There will be stories and rumors but if I can't trace it back, they'll die down. But you will need to be consistently boring. Don't parade your family around in public to show me what a happy family you are. Just go home and be a happy family.
Oh, and it would help if you won your next golf tournament. Make it the next two. And speak with the tournament directors and the PGA and make it so the announcers on the t and v can't talk about....you know. And should you win and you have to do the post interview, have them make it clear that the first reporter that asks about...you know...will end the interview for everyone. If you win the tourney and they can't talk to you about it then they'll keep each other in check.
But you need to keep yourself in check first.