Just days ago, Blue Ivy Carter, the celebrated first offspring of music supercouple Jay-Z and Beyonce, was melting hearts — thanks in no small part to dad's touching new song about his newborn daughter. But now, reports are surfacing that the couple's excessive security detail at New York's Lennox Hill hospital, where the "Single Ladies" singer gave birth, may have led to the mistreatment of other patients. Factor in leaked photos of the lavish suite that served as the delivery room, and you've got yourself a backlash. Here, a brief guide:
Were other patients at the hospital really mistreated?
Several patients are making that case, unsuccessfully. One Brooklyn resident claimed that Beyonce's private guards, who sealed off an entire floor, prevented him from visiting his prematurely-born twins in the ICU. Two formal complaints, charging that patients in the neonatal unit were mistreated, spawned an investigation by the New York Health Department, which ultimately announced that the accusations "have been reviewed and dismissed."
What does City Hall say?
During a press conference this week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked to comment on the controversy. He maintained that, although a city-run hospital would never be allowed to rent out a floor or wing to a wealthy patient, a private facility like Lennox Hill is well within its rights to do so. Furthermore, "if [the hospital] got paid a lot of money and it let them provide services to other people who don't have insurance or can't afford it, I'm not so sure it's such a bad thing."
What about that luxurious suite?
Photos obtained Thursday by TMZ of the "5-star hotel" hospital room quickly made the media rounds. (Check them out here.) The newly constructed VIP suite "looks like a Four Seasons penthouse," TMZ says, and Beyonce was the first new mom to occupy it. The suite was reportedly renovated for Beyonce at a cost of $1.3 million (a claim the hospital denies). The posh digs boast four flatscreen TVs, "lushly upholstered gray and cream sofas adorned with silken thrown pillows," abstract artwork, chrome and Formica-top coffee tables, a kitchenette, and a cozy spare bed for new dads, according to the New York Daily News.
What has the reaction been?
Mostly negative. The accommodations are "pretty ridiculous," says Nicole Fabian-Weber at The Stir. "How many days was Beyonce there? Two? Three?" There's no two ways about it: Spending $1 million on a hospital room is "insane." Even fellow A-lister Tina Fey thinks Beyonce went overboard. "My celebrity treatment at Lennox Hill involved taking a group breastfeeding class in a closet," she said on the Today show.