The New Times just ran an article entitled: “Towers of Secrecy: Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows To Elite New York Real Estate”, which listed secret owners, including New England Patriot’s Quarterback, Tom Brady, among other public figures of celebrity status. From this, spun a secondary Boston Globe article entitled ” Brady’s ‘Secret Money’ Is Part of NYC Tradition”.
Sounds scandalous doesn’t it?
Yet, hold on a minute. Let’s take a look at this. Yes, there are many bad people out there clandestinely hiding their identity behind “straw ownership” for illegal purposes, but we cannot conclude that this is a motivating factor for everyone. There are many compelling arguments to remain anonymous for reasons of privacy, estate planning, and safety of themselves, and others. Case in point, the above mentioned Tom Brady. Mr. & Mrs. Tom Brady are listed as one of Forbes Richest Couples in the World. In this lightning speed, digitally invasive and compromised, paparazzi stalking world, would it be a good idea for this power couple to make their identity known to the public? If you were to live in this building, how happy would you be to have the media camped out front, hungrily waiting for a glimpse of them or their children? As parents, would you want your children subjected to the public risks of celebrity stalking or worse yet, kidnapping? Like it or not, we live in a world where evil does exist, privacy must be protected and judgment should be exercised.
Our legal definition of right to privacy is interpreted like this: “The right to privacy is the right to be let alone in the absence of some “reasonable” public interest in a person’s activities, like those of celebrities OR participants in newsworthy events.” Well, given that these names are “newsworthy” enough to be used as examples in these articles, I can’t help but wonder, what is the “reasonable public interest” here and does it exceed reasonable common sense. Seems Tom Brady’s Secret Money, Is Not So Secret Anymore.