My life is my life. I’m not going to change my life for anybody. I don’t have any problems with it. I just don’t talk about my health, my dad, who I voted for, or what I think of the death penalty, because that would be trivializing my life, selling it for a magazine. I don’t have any problems with anybody reporting on my life. It’s just that I’m not going to bring my family into that. The number-one reason for that is: Why would I invite — encourage — more people to sit outside my door and wait for my children to go to school? I don’t have any desire to participate in it.
Are you happy with the life you’ve created for yourself?
I’m absolutely over the moon. Ten years ago, I was worried. You know how you worry, if I do this, will this happen? And, I won’t be happy if I’m not this. I’m so happy that this is what I chose. I was able to design a life where … you know, on Thursday, Charlie’s got this little school play he’s doing, and the second-grade summer birthdays, and last week he had the Olympics and he lost and he cried and cried and cried. And I thought to myself, what if I wasn’t here? Clearly, he’d be with somebody else, but it wouldn’t be me. I can’t live with delegating my life so I can work more.
Was "normal" what you always aimed for?
Oh, yeah. I insisted on it. It’s taken a lot of work, though. I insisted on it at 5 years old.
I knew as a young person that if I weren’t paying attention, they would take my life away from me. When I was 7 or 8, I remember them saying, "Listen, we’re going to go to Disneyland. They’re going to take a film crew. You’re going to bring a friend, and they’ll show you going on the rides." I wasn’t much of a rebel. But I was like, [sobbing] "I don’t want to go to Disneyland with a film crew. I just want to go to Disneyland." I didn’t want them to ruin that experience for me. I didn’t want to have the reality show of me going to Disneyland. And I don’t want to pollute my children’s lives.
Do you feel that people appreciate the choice you’ve made to maintain your privacy?
I don’t know if anyone appreciates it now. I’m sure there are all sorts of people who don’t like what I’ve chosen. ... I think my kids will understand and respect it. In 20 years, people will look back on my life and I’ll be 65 and Britney Spears will be 45, and I think by then people will understand the value of privacy.
Originally published in MORE magazine, September 2007.