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Probe into Beyonce baby complaints at NY hospital

The Associated Press, Wednesday, January 11, 2012, 2:08pm (PST)
  • NEW YORK (AP) -- State health officials are investigating complaints patients in a hospital neonatal unit were mistreated while Beyonce was there giving birth to her and Jay-Z's daughter.

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    They had received two complaints about Manhattan's Lenox Hill Hospital, health department spokesman Michael Moran said Wednesday. One was made anonymously, and the other was from someone who had learned about the matter through the media, he said. Officials would be looking into whether any regulations were violated, he said.

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    The hospital said it would fully cooperate with the inquiry, and it announced Wednesday it was conducting its own probe into the complaints about the treatment of neonatal unit patients.

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    Beyonce gave birth to the couple's baby, Blue Ivy Carter, at the hospital on Saturday.

    Media reports said Beyonce and Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, paid $1 million 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, told The Associated Press that her twins, born Dec. 28, were in the neonatal unit and, starting 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 Monday. "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.

    She said that other parents at the unit did notice "enhanced security." But she said none felt restricted from accessing the unit or any other at the hospital.

  • Jay-Z confirmed the birth of the couple's daughter in a song released on his social website Life and Times on Monday.

    Lenox Hill Hospital is a popular choice for the rich and famous - from late philanthropist Brooke Astor to "30 Rock" star Tina Fey.

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