Paparazzi Hound Rape Victim Elisabeth Fritzl Into Public Press Appearance

Illustration for article titled Paparazzi Hound Rape Victim Elisabeth Fritzl Into Public Press Appearance

Celebrities know what they're getting into, paparazzi apologists will argue, dismissing the constant haranguing mega-stars and their reality TV counterparts experience at the hands of photographers. But Elisabeth Fritzl, the Austrian woman who was locked in the family cellar for 24 years by her deranged father, Josef, and in the meantime impregnated with seven children against her will, never asked for any publicity, and yet, photographers are camped outside the private hospital she's been living in since she and her children surfaced last month. Elisabeth has reportedly agreed to a television interview, and people close to the case think she has submitted to a public appearance merely to get rid of the constant swarm of aggressive lensmen. Seventeen photographers have been arrested so far, according to the Daily Mail, and just this past weekend "a security guard at the hospital was injured after he fell from a balcony while tackling a photographer."

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But it's not just photographers looking to profit off of the Fritzl family's misery. A hospital worker allegedly snapped some pictures of Elisabeth and her children and tried to sell them for upwards of 200,000 euros. Two out of three of Elisabeth's children who were kept in the cellar with her — Stefan, 18, and Felix, 6, — along with the three raised above-ground, Alexander 12, Monika 14 and Lisa 15, are all at the hospital with their mother. Elisabeth's oldest daughter, Kerstin, who was raised in the cellar, is still in a coma, but sources say she is on the mend.

Elisabeth is planning to be interviewed for her television debut by reporter Christoph Feurstein, the same guy who interviewed Natascha Kampusch, the other young Austrian woman who was locked in a cellar for several years. Elisabeth is expected to discuss the child she had who died and was subsequently thrown in the furnace by her father. "It might not be good for the psychological healing process but Elisabeth's heart pumps nothing but pure venom for him," a source tells the Daily Mail. It's vaguely ironic that the Mail, a rag that publishes tabloid pictures of Lisa Marie Presley merely to poke fun at the pregnant star "piling on the pounds," would be the paper to suggest that the media's gone too far in the Fritzl case. But at least someone's pointing it out.

Elisabeth Fritzl Is To Talk About The 24 Years She Was Imprisoned In Her Father's Dungeon On Austrian TV [Daily Mail]

Exclusive: Kerstin Fritzl Winning Fight [Sunday Mirror]

Austrian Man Locked His Daughter In The Basement For 24 Years

Who Is Josef Fritzl?

DISCUSSION

londontina
EatBigSea

@haguenite: Please, don't dignify that crap with a rational response. Sickness like this can happen anywhere. In the US there have been cases like Colleen Stan, Steven Stayner, Tanya Kach and Shawn Hornbeck.

And as for langtry's other contentions about class and celebrity, they make no sense whatsoever. The tabloid press focuses on (i) people of interest due to their social class (which, BTW, happens in most European countries, including but certainly not limited to England); (ii) people of interest due to talent in acting, singing, sport or posing for a camera; or (iii) people of interest due to their status as victims of a crime or criminals.

Just because the press in Europe focuses on (i) as well as (ii) and (iii) has nothing to do with the relative level of intensity addressed to the various stories. Think about Britney Spears's stint in hospital. Heath Ledger's death. OJ Simpson's crime/trial. Natalee Holloway. I am not an American, do not live in America and have not done so for many years, and I still know many details of Ms. Holloway's case, through no desire of my own to do so, but the fact that I watch CNN dictates otherwise. Ghoulish dwelling on the details of a hideous crime respects no national boundaries.