herald

Thursday 21 September 2017

Maternity hospital denies claim Beyonce's bodyguards stopped new mums seeing their babies

State health officials dismissed complaints that patients in a hospital neonatal unit were mistreated while Beyonce was there giving birth to her and Jay-Z's daughter.

They had received two complaints about Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, one made anonymously, the other from someone who had learned about the matter through the media, a health department spokesman said.

Officials reviewed the complaints and dismissed them, spokesman Jeffrey Gordon said without elaborating.

The hospital, a popular choice for the rich and famous from late philanthropist Brooke Astor to 30 Rock star Tina Fey, said it was conducting its own probe.

Beyonce gave birth to Blue Ivy Carter on Saturday.

Media reports said Beyonce and Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, paid $1m to take over a floor and their security guard blocked parents from the neonatal unit for hours.

The hospital denied the reports, saying the couple paid the standard rate for an executive suite without disclosing what that is.

One new mother, Rozz Nash-Coulon, said that her twins, born on December 28, were in the neonatal unit and, starting on Friday, intense security measures made it a struggle to see them as guards directed hallway traffic.

"Once they checked in, there was high security everywhere," she said.

"It looked like the president was on our floor. The hospital's security cameras were taped over. Internal windows from the hallways into the ward were blacked out."

The hospital's executive director was heading up its own inquiry into the complaints, hospital spokeswoman Barbara Osborn said.

The hospital was interviewing parents who had children in the newborn wing when Jay-Z and Beyonce were there, she said.

"We have spoken to seven out of the 10," she said. "None have reported being stopped from seeing their babies."

She confirmed that security cameras were briefly taped over when the Carter family was being moved, "but only when a security guard was present" on the fourth floor, where the neonatal unit is located. She declined to say why they were taped over.

hnews@herald.ie

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