Beyonce and husband Jay-Z are being investigated by the New York State Health Department over the VIP treatment they received while the R&B singer gave birth. Patient complaints sparked the probe.
The couple checked into the Lenox Hill Hospital on the Upper East Side in Manhattan and reportedly were given a cordoned off wing of the paternity ward. Other patients complained that they were hampered by the star’s burly security guards. Others said they were denied access or forced to wait to go to their rooms.
The arrival of baby girl Blue Ivy Saturday (Jan. 7) has turned into a nightmare for the hospital. Angry parents are threatening to sue because of the way they were treated during the celebrity couple’s stay, according to gossip site TMZ.
The hospital on Monday, (Jan. 9) denied one of the more outrageous claims. There were reports the Destiny’s Child singer paid $1.3 million so she could have a floor all to herself. Bullet-proof windows were allegedly installed.
“The suggestion that the couple paid $1.3 million to rent an entire maternity floor is simply not true,” the hospital said in a statement. “The family is housed in an executive suite at the hospital and is being billed the standard rate for those accommodations.”
The hospital did concede that Jay-Z was allowed to have his own security detail, but denied they had taken over the hospital wing. “The family does have its own security detail on site. However, the hospital has been and continues to be in control of managing all security at the facility,” the statement continued.
The health department is investigating complaints from parents. They claim they were mistreated by the staff while Beyonce was giving birth. The seriousness of the state probe, however, is a matter of debate.
“Whenever we receive a complaint, we look into it. It’s not necessarily an investigation. It could be a review. Most likely in this case, it would be an investigation,” a department spokesman told The New York Daily News.
Why Beyonce and her husband, real name Shawn Carter, felt they needed such extraordinary security is unknown. Other celebrities say they have given birth at the hospital without such lengths. The hospital is fully cooperating with the inquiry, it said in a statement today (Jan. 11). It is also conducting its own investigation.
“Once they checked in there was high security everywhere,” Rozz Nash-Coulon, who gave birth to twins, told The Associated Press. “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.”
Among other things, the Carters were apparently trying to prevent photos of the birth or their presence in the hospital.
In several published reports, one doctor complained that he was unable to communicate with his patients because Jay-Z’s security refused to allow anyone to carry a cellphone on the floor.