Do Celebrities Have A Right To Privacy?

Do celebrities lose their right to privacy just because they’re famous?

Do you think, because you’ve seen someone on TV or in a movie, you have a right to talk to them if you see them?

Would you interrupt a celebrity’s dinner to take their photo?

And if so, why in the hell do you think you’re entitled to do that?

Having grown-up as a 5th generation Southern Californian, I probably see celebrities in a different light than many people.

I have yet to be star struck by anyone – and I’m old.

I don’t know if it’s because I grew up knowing/encountering celebrities as an every day part of life?

Or maybe I’m just jaded.

Sure, I notice if Brad Pitt (or whoever) walks into the room –

But no, I have no desire to run up to him and beg for an autograph.


(No offense Brad, it’s nothing personal.  I just randomly threw your name into my post as an example.)

Last week, Briefcase and I went out to dinner as part of our 25th wedding anniversary celebration.

We had a nice ocean view table at Mastro’s Ocean Club in Newport Beach.

Mastro’s is a nice restaurant.  (My point being, it isn’t a super casual stand-in-line-for-your-food atmosphere.)

David Spade was seated at the table next to us.

*  I did not take the above photo of David Spade. *

David (I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me calling him by his first name??) was having dinner with Chris Farley’s brother (Kevin, I think?), some other man, and a few kids.

Of course, I noticed David Spade was sitting next to me.

I’m sure he noticed me too.

He was probably thinking,

“Oh look!  There’s Suzanne from Twenty Four At Heart.  I wonder how her arm is doing since the car accident?  I’d sure like to hang one of her photos in my house, but I won’t be rude and interrupt her dinner at Mastro’s.”

I’m sure that’s exactly what he was thinking.

I was thinking similar thoughts,

“Oh look!  David Spade is seated next to me.  How cool – we both love Mastro’s.”

Then I continued gazing out the window at the ocean, because OH LOOK! PELICANS!!

Of course, there were a few people who “pretended” to be taking photos at their table so they could get David’s photo “in the background.”

(Because, like WOW MAN, that makes them practically famous too!)

Please note:  I would totally do the iPhone Fake Photo Trick (which everyone knows) to capture a photo of a Ridiculous OC Barbie for a blog post.  I wouldn’t do it to capture a celebrity chewing a mouthful of steak.

After awhile, Random Grandma came over to David Spade’s table and put her arm around him –

While the man was seated for dinner, in a nice restaurant, with his friends, and with a couple kids at his table.

Let’s be honest, there wasn’t anyone in the (previously quiet, serene) room who wasn’t aware of what was happening.

I think most of the people in the room were horrified by what she was doing.

Personally, I was embarrassed for humans everywhere.

Random Grandma stayed just like that, arm around David, for quite some time.  She then left, and proceeded to come back to David’s table a minute later with two tween/teen girls.  The girls probably weren’t old enough to know who David Spade is.

(No offense David, but those young-un girls don’t know who The Beatles are either!)

The girls looked uncomfortable.  I think they would have preferred to be anywhere other than with Random Grandma at that moment.

Random Grandma had the girls pose on each side of David while she attempted to take their photo with a celebrity!!

Random Grandma had brought her full size DSLR camera –

Which she didn’t know how to use.

The embarrassing incident at David Spade’s table was therefore agonizingly prolonged as Random Grandma flagged down a waiter to help her with her camera.

Do you know how difficult it was (as a photographer) to be sitting two feet away, and not grab the damn camera out of her hands and adjust her settings for her?

I was tempted to do just that, but I didn’t want to be aiding and abetting Random Grandma’s intrusive behavior.

At one point one of the tween/teen girls disappeared back to her own table – I think she was humiliated by Random Grandma and wanted to get away.

Random Grandma called across the restaurant for her to come back.

(Hello scene-in-fancy-restaurant.)

Everyone in the room was riveted at this point.  It was like watching a train wreck.

You want to look away, but you just CAN’T.

Eventually, David Spade asked the girls if one of them had an iPhone.

Wouldn’t that have been faster rudeness in the first place, Grandma?

(Did Random Grandma have ulterior motives?  Was she trying to prolong the I Can’t Work My Own Camera And I Have David Spade Held Captive Saga?  Did she like the fact the entire room was watching her aghast with horror?)

Although I wouldn’t rush up to a celebrity myself  –

I acknowledge, public functions are an entirely different situation.

Celebrities know, and expect, fans to approach them when they’re at events.

I think having a private dinner with friends and/or family at a quiet-fancy-very-nice-special-occasion restaurant is an entirely different situation.

I know someone out there somewhere will ask if perhaps Random Grandma actually knew David and was a friend of his.

That was not the case.

She was just Random Grandma.

I know someone else will ask what David Spade thought/said about this incident.

I would not presume to know what he he thinks or thought – I don’t know the man.

I will not write about things he may or may not have said within my earshot, because as much as you might love to hear it –

I won’t (ever) place myself on Random Grandma’s level.

So now I’d love to know what YOU think …

Do celebrities have a right to privacy?


Would you act like Random Grandma if you saw a celebrity seated in the same restaurant you were at?


15 Responses to “Do Celebrities Have A Right To Privacy?”

  1. Kristen

    The hubby and I were in Chicago for our anniversary last month (#12!) and we saw Conan O’Brien in the bar at The Penninsula Hotel. Just like Random Grandma, he was accosted and graciously took photo after photo with all the fame whores who noticed him in this very posh, intimate bar. I felt so bad for the guy! I adore him, but no way was I going to go bother him, and I was tipsy! Liquid courage couldn’t even make me a Random Grandma.

  2. Cynthia

    Shame on the restaurant for not stepping in and politely escorting Random Grandma back to her seat.

  3. Gaelyn

    I probably wouldn’t even recognize a celebrity and if I did, certainly wouldn’t bother them anywhere.

    Although I have had visitors approach me when I’m out of uniform. If you choose a profession where people think they know you it’s a risk in any public place. There are, unfortunately, many Random Grandmas around.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Yes – certain occupations are more public than others. I get recognized sometimes when I’m out too but not to the level celebrities do. Fortunately for me, everyone who has ever approached me has been VERY nice and not at all rude or intrusive.

  4. Denise

    I think they have a right to privacy but sadly won’t have it because we live in such a celebrity-crazed culture. I am not much of a fan of David Spade anyway, but even if it happened to be someone I love to see on film, they are just real people. I’ve seen celebrities and often find them to be short and not very noticeable except for the fact that they’ve made a movie or TV show. I am surprised the restaurant staff in such a nice place did not intervene.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Celebrities are just people. Some of them are nice, some are not. Some of them are multi-talented and some are not. You’re right – our culture of putting celebrities on a pedestal is very bizarre.

  5. LindaP

    I’m with Cynthia, would have been nice if Mastro’s had stepped in. Poor David AND his guests/friends. I saw Aaron Neville once in an airport. He and his band sat right down in seats near me at our gate. I smiled and said Hello. So did he. Then he was mobbed by fans all wanting their picture taken & an autograph. If only they done it politely & quietly and not gone screaming back to their own gates waving autographes. Yea.

    • Twenty Four At Heart

      Yes, it was rude to everyone at the table. I felt particularly bad for the girls/kids at David’s table. I don’t know why people entitled to encroach on other people’s space – celebrity or not.

  6. Jan's Sushi Bar

    Count me among your ranks as old and unstar-struck. I just cannot for the life of me understand why ANYONE gives a big hairy rat’s poopy why Katie Holmes is divorcing Tom Cruise. (Now Johnny Depp’s split is something else all together, because he’s JOHNNY DEPP and he’s SINGLE – hey, an old girl can dream, can’t she??)

    And yes: shame on the restaurant for not escorting Grandma and her obviously disinterested tweens back to their tables.

  7. Issa

    I grew up in West LA sooooo yeah, I’ve seen more celebs than I could name. Heck I knew some as a kid. Well more kids of celebs but whatever. I am like you. I may notice but I never care. Once I was at Starbucks with a blogging friend and I mentioned to her days later that Viggo Mortensen had been there. Ha. Whatever. I just don’t care. However i get embarrassed for them when other people get like crazy grandma. I have seen that before.

  8. Jeremy C

    I think you can go ahead and get all up in their business but I think they should also have the right to punch the camera men. It should be a two way street. I’m just kidding of course. I don’t know. It kind of comes with the decision to seek fame. Careful what you wish for.


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