The twins Mike Hosking didn't want you to see

01:43, Jan 31 2009
Bella, left, and Ruby Hosking with a Steiff teddy bear which fetched $235 at a charity auction yesterday.

THEY WERE at the centre of the country's most famous privacy case but now Mike Hosking's twins are happy to show their faces publicly for a good cause.

The broadcaster took New Idea magazine through the courts in a precedent-setting invasion of privacy case in 2003 to stop publication of a paparazzi photographer's picture of his former wife Marie pushing the twins in a stroller through Newmarket when the girls were 18 months old.

But what a difference a few years make.

Yesterday, Bella and Ruby Hosking, now six, were at Auckland's Smith & Caughey department store helping their mum at an auction of handmade Steiff teddy bears. The auction raised $4000 for the Nurture Foundation charity.

Marie Hosking has been a trustee for Nurture which raises money and awareness for research into infertility, miscarriage and stillbirth for several years. Bella and Ruby were conceived with the help of IVF.

Mike and Marie Hosking said the circumstances of yesterday's photo and the paparazzi shot were completely different media were invited yesterday and the twins were delighted to be in our photo.


Marie said: "I didn't have people stalking me or literally jumping out from bushes which is what happened before."

Said Mike: "All the case was about was a parent's right to make their own decisions on behalf of their kids and the moment a photographer stalks you, chases you, leaps out from behind a bush, you take away that parent's right."

Asked if the case was an overreaction he said, "Not even slightly. Because the days in this country of people literally stalking you and putting your children's wellbeing in danger have gone."

The Hoskings lost the case judges said the New Idea photo could be published but in a majority decision said privacy could be protected where intensely personal or private facts were published, where humiliation and hurt might occur and publication be offensive.


Sunday Star Times