January 8, 2013

White House 'quashes use of pictures of Malia and Sasha Obama on the beach'

Paparazzi shots of Malia and Sasha Obama have been quashed by the White House after a photographer reportedly stumbled across the girls on a public beach in Hawaii.

The images of the President's daughters were taken last week while a paparazzo was actually waiting for singer Jessica Simpson to leave her vacation home.

Secret service agents, who were accompanying the girls on their walk, immediately approached the photographer and asked for identification.

They allowed the man to keep his camera but gave him a stern warning to stop photographing the first daughters.

However when the paparazzo later sold the images to picture agencies, he was slapped with a warning letter from the White House telling him to stop their release.

A source told Celebuzz that the White House sent the photographer an official letter stating that 'Sasha and Malia’s privacy should be maintained as they were on a private holiday... and that other media had been respecting these requirements'.

ailOnline was awaiting a response from the White House on the incident.

The Obama family spent the holidays in Hawaii, flying out from Washington for their beachfront property at the upmarket Kailua Resort on December 21.

The first family stayed at a 7000 sq ft rental home with five bedrooms and a lagoon pool.

The president's annual end-of-year visit to his native state was disrupted just after Christmas when he was forced to return to the capital to help broker a solution on the fiscal cliff.

He returned to Hawaii on New Year's Day - less than an hour after Congress reached a deal.

Obama was back in Washington with his wife and daughters on January 6.

The Obamas have a strict policy when it comes to their daughters' exposure in the media. The general rule is that Malia, 14, and 11-year-old Sasha are not to be photographed in their private lives, only in an official capacity.

The unofficial agreement between the White House and media outlets has generally been followed - however there have been breaches.

Last year, the White House made a rare decision to discuss Malia Obama's school trip to Mexico after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake in the region. Officials released a statement saying that the teenager was safe and not harmed during the natural disaster.

They usually ask for the teenage girl's privacy when she is not with her parents if there is no relevant news interest in her whereabouts.

Several publications, including MailOnline, were aware of Malia's visit to Mexico prior to the earthquake, but chose not to report it at the White House's request.

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