ASPEN " Paparazzi have run Goldie Hawn out of Aspen.
The movie star has been visiting and living part time in the area for more than 25 years, but over the holidays, aggressive celebrity photographers kept her out of the town she loves, she said.
"They're right on top of you," Hawn said Wednesday. "They follow you wherever you go. It's an insult to your being."
Hawn lives with longtime companion Kurt Russell on their Old Snowmass ranch she
called "our safe haven." She won't give up the Snowmass ranch, but she said hoards of paparazzi made her feel "hunted" on two shopping trips to town over the holidays.
"None of us are publicity hounds," Hawn said. She added that paparazzi also stalk her daughter Kate Hudson, who just "wants to do her good work."
In the past, Hawn said, she could wander Aspen at will, adding that the few celebrity-spotters or photographers were once discreet.
"We were free," Hawn said. "But it ain't like the old days anymore."
Hawn noticed more photographers in Aspen in the 2006-07 holiday season, but said the celebrity hunters turned aggressive during the most recent holidays.
"They've come into our little town and they really have done their job: They've shooed us out," Hawn said.
Hawn accused photographers of recently chasing her along Highway 82 and staking out in front of her home.
"You find yourself running and dodging and jumping in your car," she said. "I can't go into my own town. I hurt for my children. It's not fair."
When Hawn gets dolled up for a night on the town in New York or L.A., she expects some attention and said she has some choice about her anonymity, she said.
But not so in Aspen, Hawn said. And being "hunted" by packs of photographers sets off a fight-or-flight response, Hawn said.
"It's now to a point where it's actually damaging to the psyche," Hawn said. "You think for a minute that you're OK or you're alone ... It's a weird feeling."
Hawn said leaving the ranch means she has to wear "protective armor."
"You have to buckle your whole system up," Hawn said. "You have to be made of steel."
It's hard enough for young celebrities like her daughter to deal with the "phenomenon" of fame, but the effects of being hounded by photographers can be damaging, she said.
"Celebrities have always been looked upon as the lucky ones," Hawn said. "I think what people don't realize is that success is much more difficult to deal with than just normal life."
People separate themselves from iconic figures and celebrities, Hawn said.
"It's them and us," Hawn said. "Let's all enjoy and be compassionate to one another."
Celebrity photographers are just out to catch celebs at their worst, whether young and misbehaving or showing their age, Hawn said.
"People want to know the bad news," Hawn said.
Today's paparazzi are not photographers at all, Hawn said, but "guys that just have nothing to do."
It's the many media outlets that spawn what Hawn called a "syndicate" of people scampering to fill websites and TV shows based on celebrity content.
"They use you to fill content," Hawn said. "They're stealing your person."
While the Aspen police have been "awesome" in dealing with incidents, Hawn said she is frustrated that there isn't much they can do.
"If I was mayor, I'd probably tell them they can't come in," Hawn said.
Hawn actually discussed the issue with Mayor Mick Ireland over the telephone Wednesday. Ireland listened, but advised Hawn to turn the tables by photographing the paparazzi.
"Anything we would do would just make it worse," he said after the conversation with Hawn, adding that any anti-paparazzi ordinance would bring out defenders of the First Amendment.
"It is abusive," Ireland said of paparazzi chasing visitors. "It's just inconsiderate."
The days of Aspen as a haven for the likes of gliterati are gone, Ireland said, adding, "There's no safe haven."