Social Philosophy and Policy

Research Article

Can Public Figures Have Private Lives?*

Frederick Schauera1

a1 Law, Harvard University

A rash of very public scandals, of which the behavior of President Clinton and the activities of the late Princess Diana are merely the most famous examples, has raised the question of the appropriateness of the disclosure, or the newsworthiness, of the so-called “private” lives of so-called “public” figures or “public” officials. That is the question I address in this essay.


* Research for this essay was supported by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, which also provided the ideal forum for fruitful discussion and debate of the ideas presented here.