Well, like many Americans on Friday night, I sat down and watched the NBC special about 70’s icon Farrah Fawcett and her battle with cancer. It was a 2 hour long documentary that included watching Farrah go through some of the hardest times in her battle with anal cancer. Plus, the support of Alana Stewart and her long time partner Ryan O’Neal. I remember Farrah well from my 70’s childhood as I thought she, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson were three of the “baddest” women on TV as I was a huge Charlie’s Angels fan like every other little girl of that time. Also, I remember the poster in the red bathing suit that everyone had in their homes back in the day. As she moved on from Charlie’s Angels, she met Ryan O’Neal and they were together for a long time. They even share a child Redmond who is in his mid 20’s by now. So, I decided to watch the documentary as I also knew her rights to privacy were violated during her battle with cancer. However, I was not aware as to how far this went.
As I watched this documentary, I saw where the paparazzi was everywhere and would not leave her alone. They were reporting falsehoods in the Enquirer and other tabloid fodder that has nothing better to do than fabricate things. We saw a video of Farrah and I think it was Alana where they were leaving the hospital. Farrah was in a wheelchair holding one of those standard hospital buckets up to her as she was getting sick from the chemo. She had to cover her head when they left because the paparazzi was waiting for her to leave. Not only did they snap those photos but got right in her face, yes, her face with those cameras. I was enraged when I saw that happening. You could hear Farrah say “they always like to get me while in a wheelchair”. So, this was not a one time deal but was happening a lot! We see them at LAX and other places while she was trying to deal with this raging illness and they would not leave her alone. Then, we learn there was a leak at UCLA who violated the Privacy Act and all ethics went out the window. I was floored by this. The paparazzi are one thing but a Doctor at UCLA? When does this ever stop? Since when is it okay to harass and stalk someone when they are battling an illness such as this? Where is the compassion? The empathy for fellow man? I jumped online quickly, found a site called Farrahs Law and signed the petition they have to try and stop this. Not only is Farrah battling cancer but is trying to get legislation going to stop this type of treatment and violation of rights.
Folks, this is just one more form of bullying and Peer Abuse. I know some will disagree but it needs to be said. She was and is in a vulnerable position and these paparazzi jumped on it as a way to benefit themselves. They stalked, harassed and eventually found someone to help them break privacy laws. Bullies stalk and harass and these paparazzi are no different. Also, this was done secretly at UCLA and behind her back which is how bullies operate. I do not know what this Doctor thought he would gain by doing what he did but he should never be allowed to practice medicine again if you ask me. Lets not forget that lies were formed and put out there for everyone else to read. I saw where some of these tabloids and other paparazzi knew about Farrah’s cancer returning before her family and friends knew! They took what they had and printed it before she had a chance to tell them! Where is the empathy? Compassion? How do these people even sleep at night?
Please, if you have a chance, visit the Farrahs Law site and see how you can help. These paparazzi are nothing more than bullies and their lack of conscience is coming through loud and clear. This is very common with bullies. Despite what Ryan O’Neal has done in the past, you have to commend him for standing by Farrah through this and the same with Alana Stewart. Farrah is lucky to have a support system in them. This is illness is horrible and anyone dealing with it deserves compassion and not stress. As for the paparazzi, please stop abusing Farrah. What has she ever done to you?
Resource Cited: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7015178654
Elizabeth Bennett is the author of Peer Abuse Know More! Bullying From a Psychological Perspective and lives in Los Angeles, California.