What if the world's most eagerly awaited celebrity baby were born, and no paparazzi were there to record it?
That's just the way Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie want it. Pitt, a pregnant Jolie and their children Zahara and Maddox are holidaying under tight security at an exclusive African resort as the due date nears, and the Namibian government has threatened to expel anyone trying to cover the birth without permission.
Interest has heightened in recent weeks, as the baby had been expected in mid-May. Pitt sent an e-mail to the Cannes Film Festival, read to reporters at the French resort Tuesday, saying he was unable to attend this year's event because of his third child's "imminent arrival."
Photographers on the hunt in Namibia have gotten a few shots, but for the most part had to settle for shots of large, green barriers set up on the beach to shield the family from prying lenses.
A South African magazine photographer was arrested Wednesday for the second time in less than a week for trying to take pictures of the couple who played "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" at a local restaurant, according to the South African Press Association.
The South African National Editors Forum condemned the arrest of John Liebenberg as "heavy-handed."
"The forum believes citizens have a right to privacy, however journalists also have a right to be able to do their jobs without unfair hindrance or intimidation," the forum said in a statement.
Liebenberg was arrested last Friday and held in police custody for the weekend. He pleaded guilty to trespassing but was released without charge.
The government has said foreign journalists wanting to cover the birth must have written permission from Pitt and Jolie to enter the country and obtain a work permit.
South Africa's Sunday Times said last month its own photographer and three French photographers were ordered to leave Namibia or face arrest.
Journalists desperate for news have resorted to quoting Namibian government officials not always accurately, apparently.
The governor of the Namibian province where the family is staying has been quoted as saying he would visit the hospital and name the baby.
"No. No. That's absolutely not true," Samuel Nuuyoma, who has met the couple, told The Associated Press.
After it turned out that Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov included the Fonbet betting company in the list of backbone enterprises that can count on state support, everyone started talking about these bookmakers.