Record $4m bid scoops Brad and Angelina's baby pictures

And the winner was? As many predicted, People magazine has
secured the exclusive rights to the first pictures of Shiloh, Brad Pitt
and Angelina Jolie's baby. The price? According to the New York Post, it exceeds $4 million, which would set a new record for celebrity baby pictures.

The money however will go, the new parents have promised, to children's charities. The sale, according to the Post,
involved a long week-end of negotiating. The pictures were taken by the
Getty Images photo agency, who summoned various picture editors to
their New York offices.

People reportedly bid $5 million for the
worldwide rights but didn't succeed and, according to NY Post People
only "barely nosed out" the American edition of Hello! and US Magazine.

won the UK and Spanish rights for a reported $3.5m, which means that
worldwide deals could net the chosen charities close to $10m, a new
record in the celebrity baby pictures market.

People is now
rushing out a special celebrity-baby pix issue which should hit news
stands in US later this week where its upping the newsstand price by 50
cents to $3.99 a copy. 

Reported one picture editor: "We
were sequestered in separate offices. The photos were shown to us
around 10 pm to midnight and then we had to submit bids by 6 am Sunday
morning. No-one got any sleep. It was a manic game of phone tag."

made it even sweatier was the offices, the bidders reported, were not
air conditioned and it was a hot sultry weekend in New York.

photographs taken in Namibia, where the baby was born last week, and
rushed to New York are described as "very intimate, casual and not
Hollywood glitz" and Getty said it would forego its usual 15 per cent
commission fee so all proceeds could go to charity.

People is
predicting it will sell at least a million copies. The charities that
will benefit from the auction of the pictures have not been identified
but are expected to be charities devoted to children's welfare. In a
statement after the sale was over Brad Pitt and his wife said; "While
we celebrate the joy of the birth of our daughter we recognize that two
million babies born every year in the developing world die the first
day of their lives." These children, the statement went on, could be
saved but only if governments around the world make it a priority.


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