By ALISSA WARREN
A woman’s world has fallen apart.
Nicole Kidman’s life will never be the same.
The sudden death of her father has left her “beyond devastated” according to her husband, Keith Urban.
I felt sad when I heard this news. Sad for a family that seems very close. Sad for a family who have seen the best and worst of life – babies, weddings, miscarriages, divorces. Sad for a family who appear to have always stayed so very close despite the gossip, money and a very public personal journey.
And so, like most, I expected Nicole Kidman and her sister, Antonia, would be grieving with their families, their children and in particular with their mother, Janelle, who has lost her husband of 50 years as they gathered at the Kidman home in Sydney over the weekend.
Nicole tells Ellen about the happiness she finds in family:
But they were not the only people gathered at the family home.
There were a few very unwelcome guests.
Paparazzi who snapped the whole family as they entered the house at various stages. (In those photos, incidentally, we’ve also got a clear view of their house, the NUMBER of their home and the security guards standing by their front door).
These pictures were sold to some of the nation’s biggest selling newspapers. The pictures are heartbreaking and disgraceful.
Nicole and her dad earlier this year.
In the past 48 hours, I’ve seen photos of three women at their most vulnerable.
It began with photos of Antonia Kidman arriving at her parents’ home. She looked nothing but completely distraught. Her eyes were puffy and she was wearing gym gear. My heart sank. For her, for her family, for her knowing that paparazzo were lurking and for her knowing someone so removed from her life – like me – would be looking at photos of her at one of the lowest points in her life. I felt like a terrible, nosey old neighbour.
The next morning, Nicole arrived.
Dressed in black, sunnies on, her daughters were whisked through the front door. It was probably the fastest arrival to any house any celebrity has ever made. Nicole is well-used to the press invading her privacy.
But in that very moment, when Nicole arrived, another woman lay victim to the camera.
Nicole’s mum, Janelle.
A woman waiting for her daughter to come home. A woman nervously touching her necklace, wearing a baggy blue top, her hair un-blowdried and her face … her face was sad. So sad.
Janelle Kidman, a woman incomprehensibly devastated, quickly became newspaper fodder.
A woman’s grieving face should never be bought or sold.
Nicole with her dad in 2005.
The Kidman family are dealing with an enormous tragedy. Two daughters have lost their father. A wife has lost her husband. Grandchildren have lost their granddad.
Today, pictures of their pain are being used to sell newspapers.
Nicole’s father saw her through a very public divorce with Tom Cruise, he’d seen her reconvert from Scientology back to Catholicism, he’d heard of her very public miscarriages, he shared her with the country as her star exploded in Hollywood and we began to call her “Our Nic”, he escorted her to awards nights, he walked her down the aisle when she married Keith Urban and he clearly loved being a grandfather to her children.
Above all else, he was a vault.
This man – and his wife, Janelle – never used their daughters’ fame to inch ahead. The secrets they could’ve sold would be insurmountable. And would’ve made them a hefty profit.
But this was a man who genuinely loved his family.
And this is a family who are genuinely in pain.
It certainly is a stooping of standards. Ours? Or the media? Both. Newspapers published it. I looked at it. I imagine I was one of thousands. And it’s been a long slide to the bottom, we’ve developed an insatiable appetite for gossip.
But at this cost?
At the cost of a woman who is sad for the loss of her husband? A woman who never asked for her picture to be taken. A woman whose grief is certainly not in the national interest. And for that matter, neither is the grief of her family.
Looking at those photos makes me feel like a bit of a shit of a person.
Because today is one of those days that Nicole Kidman is no richer than the rest of us.
Today, she’s just a woman who has lost her father. And she’s terribly, terribly sad.
And surely that deserves some genuine privacy.
Here are some images Nicole Kidman actually approved: