Rachel Griffiths Recalls Paparazzi 'Trauma' After Birth of Daughter

10/22/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Australian-born actress Rachel Griffiths is known for breaking the mold when it comes to naming her children, but she also broke with tradition somewhat with daughter Clementine Grace, 4 months.

“Adelaide is the capital of South Australia,” she explains of daughter Adelaide Rose, 4, while son Banjo Patrick, 5 ½, is named after “our national poet.” The 40-year-old Brothers & Sisters star notes during a recent appearance on The Jay Leno Show,

“Clementine is my first American name.”

Rachel went on to share that she was “traumatized” by the paparazzi after Adelaide’s birth, when she was snapped leaving the hospital. “They wheel you out — and no woman should be photographed for weeks, it’s not right, it’s inhumane — and all these paparazzi jump out of the carpark,” she recalls. “There I am holding my newborn baby, in my dressing gown, with my hair unwashed from the birth…It was awful.”

Rachel attempted to avoid such a scenario with Clementine by checking into the hospital under the assumed name of Rebecca Hamilton. Her plans to “just be in and out” were dashed, however, when Clementine suffered an unspecified complication after delivery. “Can I just thank everybody at Cedars [Sinai Medical Center] for saving my baby’s life?” Rachel said.

By day four of the hospital stay, the name switch had become “a bit of a joke,” however.

“I have all these doctors saying, ‘So Rebecca, Clementine’s doing well…’ Finally I said to this nurse, ‘Look, you can call me Rachel’ and she just looked at me so I said, ‘Or Ms. Griffiths…’ and she just said, ‘Why?’ She had no idea. She was like, ‘Why would you want to be called Rachel Griffiths, you’re Rebecca Hamilton?’ So I just let it go then.”

Having since returned to the set of her hit ABC show, Rachel praised the network for being so accommodating; She enjoys a nursery at work, and hasn’t had to wean Clementine as a result.

“I love ABC, they really look out for breastfeeding mothers,” Rachel raves. “We have I think eight nursing and pumping mothers on our show this season so there are pump stations everywhere.”

Banjo, Adelaide and Clementine are Rachel’s children with husband Andrew Taylor.

Source: The Jay Leno Show

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 23 comments

Benigna Marko on

I love her. She looks beautiful.
Benigna Marko

lindaloo on

I love her, however, I had no idea she was THAT big of a star that paparazzi jumped out of the carpark, or to sign into the hospital under an assumed name???? love, love, love brothers and sisters though!

Brandi on

She was on Six Feet Under for years, she’s definitely well known. That’s a funny story! Wonder what happened to Clementine, glad she is okay now though.

Simply Bohemian on

I don’t think the kids names are all that different. I think they are more toned down than say….Rumor, Apple, Heaven, I could go on lol. I think originality is a wonderful thing!

cait5 on

love her.

think having a pack of mostly young aggressive men hunting you for “the shot” when you have just had a baby is unspeakably vile. You are just so raw and wide-open for those first months after a baby arrives… I remember seeing shots of naiomi watts being hounded with her newborn and it was awful too.

megan on

“it’s not right, it’s inhumane”

Then don’t announce or confirm your pregnancies to the press. Bigger celebs than her have held off announcing their babies births for one or two months, so it’s not totally impossible.

Laura on

My impression from the Jay leno interview is she had an emegency c-section…the comment about being in the hospital 4 days made it seem like that. Also, Rachel is on the cover of the Novemeber issue of Cookie magazine (the last issue 😦 and she looks absolutely gorgeous. Her daughther is adorable in the pictures and her house looks amazing in the pictures.

CelebBabyLover on

cait5- Which newborn? Sasha, or Kai?

Gabbadoo on

There had to be that one person with a negative and bitter attitude..MEGAN..geez keep negative comments to yourself

stephanie on

Ever seen TMZ? They would chase anyone like they’re Brangelina. This is not her first child so she clearly knows what to do.

megan on

Gabbadoo, no thank you, I will not keep comments to myself. I have not said anything against site rules, so quit trying to be a moderator.

Alex on

Megan, I’m with you on this one. They should be respectful, but I see nothing in Rachel’s story that suggests that there was anything untoward about the scenario. She’s being a little unreasonable in using words like “inhumane”. I get where she’s coming from, but I don’t agree with her.

Also, you shouldn’t be told to keep your comments to yourself.

People need to stop trying to self-police this forum. If you don’t like seeing negative comments, just look at the nice pictures and not the words, no one forces you, you know?

Gabbadoo on

Never said I was a moderator but thanks for holding me in such high regard…appreciate it…lol

These blogs are about celebrities and their babies, hence “celebrity babies.com” and I find it quite amusing how your everyday, run of the mill people make these comments to suggest they know these celebrities or know better. I agree Alex, one should glance at these photos, maybe even scan the article, make a comment and move on…but when I say make a comment I mean make a respectful one..like “Oh what a cute baby (if there is one in the pic) or move on without a comment. The bloggers on here are judgmental and really waste a lot of useful energy on a unimportant issue.

And yes, if you have a snide comment and feel it necessary to share it with the entire group that also reads this blog, then expect to be told to keep those undesirable comments to yourself…just like those negative people, I too have a right to post my opinion…Thanks 🙂

Alex on

The point Gabbadoo, as has been made multiple times before, is that those who are self-policing are not commenting on the pictures, they are commenting on other readers rights to have their own say. There is nothing in the rules here that states you have to be positive, and it’s actually rather disturbing how willing people are to try to shut others up. I find it more offensive than anything negative that is written, and judging by past discussions of this nature, I’m certainly not alone in thinking like that.

Your definition of respectful, clearly, is actually ‘nice’, which is great, but not exactly realistic. You can be critical and respectful at the same time you know, which is exactly what Megan was doing, which makes your criticism of her look worse than her criticism of Rachel. This isn’t Brave New World, we are all entitled to have our say, whether that is good or bad, positive or negative. There was nothing at all nasty or mean about Megan’s comment, but even if there had been, it’s up to the moderators, not the readers, to decide whether or not she is allowed to say what she did.

It really comes down to whether or not you’re commenting on the pictures and other people’s comments, or whether you’re going another way, and commenting on someone’s RIGHT to comment. And really, that’s not your call to make. You were not so much expressing an opinion, but rather stating that someone else was not entitled to their opinion. I think perhaps you didn’t see it that way, but that’s where the distinction is and that’s what annoys those who support the idea of free speech.

I hope you get where I’m coming from. Thanks for replying to me in the first instance :).

Gabbadoo on

I do get where you’re coming from Alex, I see your perspective. My definition of respectful is not “nice” so much Alex, it is exactly what it means, respectful. I can comment on something and also disagree on the same topic, but with my disagreement I can use a dose of class. I certainly am for free speech and encourage everyone to use that right. My issue with her comment wasn’t a Federal case, it was simply noticing, not policing, how one person can take a quote from a celebrity and rip it to shreds. She in turn did exactly what you claim I did…she suggested to Rachael Griffiths to not announce a pregnancy if she did not want the paparazzi taking pictures…which as we all know even if they don’t announce a pregnancy, we all speculate and eventually pictures come out and we know, whether or not they wanted us to.

I appreciate your concern with people “policing” this site but it does seem a bit like what you are doing…that is my perspective. And the moderators surely did not find anything wrong with my initial comment either. I really could care less if Megan is passionate about these blogs and feels it necessary to comment on any one of them, I certainly am not. I merely made a comment just to point out that there is always that 1 person who has to throw a bit of the sarcasm or negative commentary. I don’t think her remark was that offensive nor did I think she was being completely mean.

I am most definitely not unrealistic in my hopes that people can be respectful and have constructive comments instead of snide remarks. Thank you also, for responding in such a dignified way. A debate that is tactful and doesn’t steer down that path of immaturity is always my pleasure.

Alex on

If your definition, or implied definition, of respectful is actually unrealistic, then your expectations that people will fit that, are in turn unrealistic. There was, again, nothing wrong with Megan’s comment. You yourself have admitted that her remark wasn’t offensive. Like I said, I think people should be able to say what they want here as long as they are respectful with it, that is clearly in contrast to what you want, which seems to be that people can say what they want as long as it’s nice. That’s where the problem is, and that’s why those with that opinion who push it on others do seem as though they are policing the comments.

There was no snide comment made either, so I’m wondering who you were directing that at. I think the thing that really bothered me about what you were saying to Megan was that you had such a severe reaction to what was entirely innocent commentary. And if you genuinely believe what I’m doing is policing, then I can only say that I support free speech and am completely against trying to stifle an opinion just because it’s not ‘nice’. If that’s really policing, then I suppose I must be a little bit incorrect in the way I see it lol.

And I do get where you’re coming from too, but I’m sorry, I still think you equate respectful with nice a little too much. You can be extremely critical and respectful, which given your reaction to Megan and what you have said to me, is not something I expect you to agree with. In simple terms, I can massively dislike someone, but still have respect for them, I don’t have to like them to respect them, if you get what I mean. And actually, you were telling Megan what to do (as well as saying she had a negative and bitter attitude), it wasn’t just commenting on her comment, that was what annoyed me and judging by Megan’s reaction, it annoyed her too.

I think this can honestly all be avoided in the future if those with negative opinions are just given as much respect as those with positive ones. Maybe make comments about the content rather than the one who has written it is etc. Telling people to stop saying things they are perfectly entitled to say is a horrible thing.

Anyways, it’s been nice talking to you :).

Simply Bohemian on


Dee on

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, well all I can say is that I agree Rachel is beautiful. I have been a big fan of hers since ‘Muriel’s Wedding’ with Toni Collette…awesome movie.

Loved her her in ‘Six Feet Under’ as well. I can imagine how stressful it must be to have just given birth and the minute you walk out of the hospital a bunch of obnxious photographers are in your face. How traumatizing for mother and child.

I dont think it matters if she alerted the press about her birth or not, someone in the hospital would have leaked it anyways. It has always been like that, someone leaking information for their own personal gratification.

Jessica on

I would have to agree with Ms. Griffiths- having strange men with cameras jump out of the bushes or be waiting for you outside the hospital in any capacity would be, and must have been, horrible. I know I had an emergency c-section with my daughter and was in the hospital for 6 days. I could barely get into our Jeep. My face was bloated and my eye was infected after a bad bout with Bells Palsy, and I hadn’t bathed to my satisfaction in a long time. So, by no means would I want a picture taken of me by hounds of men as I was exiting the hospital only to have my outfit or hair or bloated face critiqued by faceless people across the Internet.

And to me, it doesn’t matter if Ms. Griffiths had announced her pregnancy or not. If she doesn’t, paparazzi hound her night and day and guess about her uterus’ state of affairs with huge headlines “PREGNANT?” and until she does readers and critics alike will proclaim her fat. If she does, people call her a headline hound, seeking fame and notoriety at the expense of her unborn child. She can’t do right no matter which route she takes.

Just because I announced my pregnancy to friends, family, and coworkers, does not mean I would want my picture taken as I was exiting the hospital. Give the woman a break. This is sickening, the paparazzi’s pursuit of a picture of a newborn baby, just to suit the masses. And we all contribute to that by coming to these baby sites and reading these stories.

I admit, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but we must acknowledge that if we weren’t all interested in seeing their babies, there wouldn’t be photographers taking their pictures, whether she was on a tv show or not.

Diane on

#19 Jessica: WELL SAID!!!! =)

Simply Bohemian on

#19 Jessica:
Well said sweetie!

Terri on

I’m not familiar with her, but I can imagine how annoying being photographed and pursued in that state would be.

Raymond J Warren on

Rachael Griffith in Very Annie Mary is perhaps the finest piece of acting by an Australia actress that I have ever seen. Rachael is a comedienne and her appearances on talk back shows should be listened to carefully because her sense of humor is Australian.