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P.R. disaster: Responding to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s hospital scandal

Beyonce Jay-Z Stock PhotoBeyoncé and Jay-Z are proud new parents, but the hospital where the baby was born looks shameful in the news today. Here’s a look at hospital public relations gone wrong. (Please see update below.)

The New York Daily News has a story today about Lenox Hill Hospital, claiming the celebrity couple’s security team closed down part of the neo-natal ICU and prevented other parents from seeing their newborns. Beyoncé and Jay-Z took this privilege after making a $1.3 million payment to the hospital, the newspaper reports.

Yikes! Sounds like a public relations disaster for the hospital! Time to put your best person up front and apologize profusely, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not what they did. From the Daily News:

Hospital spokeswoman Anne Silverman said she had not personally heard of the complaints. “We take patient satisfaction very seriously,” Silverman told The News. “This is the first time I’m hearing about it.”

Wow. “This is the first time I’m hearing about it.” Terrible. While I feel bad for the hospital communications person on duty Sunday afternoon, media scrutiny of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby was a foreseeable problem and should have been better planned for.

If the story is even close to true, the top executive at the hospital should have spoken to the newspaper and expressed a personal apology—after apologizing to the parents, of course. And if the story is totally bogus, the hospital needs to deny it forcefully.

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Since this post, Lenox Hill has taken some steps to knock down this story. The hospital released a statement Monday from executive director Frank Danza. Here it is in its entirety:

NEW YORK, Jan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Lenox Hill Hospital Executive Director Frank Danza issued the following statement in response to inaccurate news media reports regarding the presence of the Carter family at the hospital:

“Lenox Hill Hospital and its staff were delighted to welcome the Carter family for the birth of their firstborn on Saturday evening, but we are troubled by the misinformation being circulated in some news media reports. The suggestion that the couple paid $1.3 million to rent an entire maternity floor is simply not true. The family is housed in an executive suite at the hospital and is being billed the standard rate for those accommodations. Our executive suites are available for any patient, including the food service and amenities provided to the Carter family.

“The family does have its own security detail on site. However, the hospital has been and continues to be in control of managing all security at the facility. We have made every effort to ensure minimal disruption to other families experiencing the births of their own children over the past three days. No security plan that we or the Carters’ security team put in place would have prevented or delayed families from gaining access to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and to date, no families have complained to the hospital about being denied access to the NICU.

“Lenox Hill Hospital takes patient privacy and safety very seriously. And while we congratulate the Carter family on the birth of their child, we value the loyalty of ALL of our patients and always strive to ensure a positive experience, knowing that the birth of a child is a wonderful moment producing memories that last a lifetime.”

No families have complained, the statement says!

The Daily News reported two such complaints from parents, but in a follow-up report January 11 says: “The state Health Department has reviewed and dismissed two complaints that Lenox Hill Hospital coddled R&B diva Beyoncé to such an extent that other people were kept from seeing their newborns.”

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Photo © Dylan Armajani / Shutterstock.com

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under News & Journalism


  1. nick says:

    This is the new american way…anyone with money can basically do what they want to anyone they want…there is everything wrong with allowing a private security team, untrained in hospital etiquette , rules, procedures and peoples rights, to essentially close an entire floor of a hospital off exclusively for a few people…shame on the hospital for setting aside their moral, legal and professional obligation to all patients for 1.3 million, and shame on jay-z and beyonce for not even taking this into consideration while planning for their security, or did they?

  2. Proveaux says:

    I think they should apologize to all parents affected by the security issue. Who do they think they are? I know a lot of people want to know everything immediately but maybe they should get a life. There are so many things more important than some celebrity having a baby. Who cares, we all do it. They are no better than anyone else. When a parent has a child in the NICU, that should be more important. Beyounce should be more consider-ant. After all she is only a celebrity because of the everyday person who chooses to buy her music. Without them she’s just the next person down the line.

  3. Mary L. Swiney says:

    I ‘m happy on the arrival of their new baby but to close a whole department just for her to deliver her baby, unacceptable all babies are important. Why not close a section it really upset me, because it the people that make them. Belive me we respect our celebrities but this was over the top, when people don’t have work and are hungry and homeless. It’s crazy

  4. Sarah says:

    Lenox Hill is a terrible hospital to have babies. I don’t know why they picked this hospital – small private, upper east side hospital?!

  5. Tiffany says:

    I uderstand that Bey and Jay felt it necssary to take whatever measures possible to protect thier privacy as well as there newborn baby and most of us would do the same if furnished with thier means. However I hold the hospital responsible for protecting the other patients. I feel sure that Bey and Jay ment no harm to the other families and will be upset to hear of thier experiences and will offer thier apologies.
    Congratulations to the Carter/Knowles family and to all the families at Lenox Hill Hospital welcoming their newborns that day!

    • lisa says:

      i totally agree with you tiff. i think the hospital and the carters should have put together a better plan instead of just throwing money around.its not like it was a surprise.

  6. Kath says:

    Jay Z and Beyonce did not think if it would harm other people because they are spoiled and selfish. Even if they did apologise it would be fake, They wanted privacy at any cost. An apology would do nothing for the peoples lives they interrupted. It would not give back the time people lost with their family. next time they should build their own hospital and stay their away from normal people trying to live their lives.

  7. Pamela Brown says:

    Wow, we live in a world where people are just sometimes dumb! It is very clear that maybe those folks who are “claiming” were permitted from not seeing family,tried to get some sneak peeks.

    This is a hospital that services all kinds of income and clearly would not place themselves in “legal turmoil”. Get a gripe.

    Just plain stupid, some of your comments, it appears that your comments equal “wish i could”

  8. Heather says:

    I think this is a outraged disgrace! Bey && Jay-Z are no different then any other human beings in this world. Their child is no different then any other child being born. They should have never received special treatment from the get go. If they wanted special treatment, she should of had a home birth in HER OWN HOME! Money is the root of ALL evil. I think someone should stop them from seeing their new born child and see if they like it. They are lifeless individuals who worship the devil and care only for themselves. Enough said!

  9. Janice scumsrow says:

    Why didn’t b and j just get a mid wife….

  10. tman says:

    yea its 2012 world is coming to a end …so all and anything is acceptable NOW

  11. Melanie King says:

    Narcissism! Step on everyone and throw out a pathetic apology later. TOO LATE! If ANYONE stopped me from seeing my baby OH HELL! Especially a sick baby. SHAME ON YOU BEYONCE AND JAY Z…and you KNOW what your bodyguards were doing…they were following YOUR ORDERS!! SHAME ON THE HOSPITAL for allowing this to happen to all of the other parents and babies. She should have had her baby at home if she couldn’t accept the parameters of the hospital delivery and visitation…I’m sure EVERY parent there was hoping she had. What about THEIR privacy?? Their birth experience was influenced by the Carter’s presence there…

  12. John says:

    “the new American way”? It’s not new at all. It’s the haves vs. the have nots and it’s always been.

  13. lew says:

    Pamela … I for one can say I would not give 2 flying f—s about “bey and j” if they were at the hospital where MY PREMATURE FIRST BORN was in the NICU. What would upset me is being denied access to my flesh and blood tiny 4lb baby boy because some smooth rich and famous people wanted their privacy.

  14. lea says:

    Sorry was trying to edit and hit enter accidently “snooty” was the adjective I was searching for, obviously thats not really a word. Lol. Anyway..
    When ur child is born prematurely, and especially if he or she has had complications …. a celeb is the LAST thing on a parents mind!!!!

  15. Shinn says:

    Wow! Even the rich do not go through that much trouble in preventing media attention. Why go through this unless —hiding something which may be worth it. Who knows.

  16. asha says:

    people need a life….

  17. james says:

    First off, Beyonce checks in under an assumed name and somehow the media founds out about it. Can anyone say MAJOR, MAJOR HIPAA (HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITLY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996)Now, either Beyonce had someone tell the media which is her right. Or the hospital leaked it which is a big lawsuit against the hospital. And, if it was beyonce that leaked it, why? Unless you wanted all that attention that you were supposed to be avoiding. Second, if this is how shes goes to have her security handle other parents, the schools she might be thinking about enrolling her child in might want to take a hard look about how “her” security might handle things on “parent day”.

  18. Mar says:

    Should have just had the baby at home damn im sure they could have paid for it and had better privacy no need to show off we know u got money. Just dont make us suffer because u do

  19. marc says:

    If security needs to be that strong then stay you ass at home why have your baby someware where their may be danger or you have to change the security procedures. At home u can do what ever, plus i just had my first child in October i wish i could have afforded to have her at home.

  20. April Smith says:

    First of all we live and a world were money rules the way I see this God has the last say over this place we call land of free,things like this shows that it doesnt matter if ur black are white if you got fame and money u rule,this world is lost and there going to be a day that the one who hold the power will walk and it dont matter money are not if your not right u will live it out,if any thing pray for them there only doing what they know.

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