In light of Kate's announcement of her new, very exploitative book, "Letters to My Kids," we take a look back at another famous child, Baby Jessica. Jessica McClure fell down a Texas well in 1987. The ensuing three-day rescue captured the world's attention and hearts. Jessica was pulled out alive, and the media attention she has gotten since has been rampant. Her story came in eighth place on stories that captured media interest over the past 20 years. She is still recognized. But Jessica made it through the firestorm and is a mom herself now living a happy and quiet life in Texas. How did her parents do it?
Turning down Media offers
Jessica's parents, Cissy and Chip McClure, were only 17 and 18 years old when the accident happened. But surprisingly, even these two teenagers knew how important it was to help Jessica have a normal childhood. Her young parents turned down countless media offers and other publicity offers, and passed on a lot of money. They made just one media deal, an exclusive deal with Ladies Home Journal, and provided just two "update" stories throughout the rest of Jessica's childhood, on the 10th and 15th anniversary of the accident. In other words, they saw to it the media left Jessica alone.
Seeing a child through a divorce
Jessica's parents ended up divorced when Jessica was still quite young, just like Jon and Kate. But they remained united in their protection of Jessica and their determination to give her a normal childhood. Divorced parents can still work together on a common goal. Her parents didn't even mention to her she was the baby in the well until Jessica saw her story dramatized on an episode of Rescue 911.
Protecting Jessica's money
Jessica received an estimated $1 million in donations after the ordeal. Her parents put the money into a trust fund, which she was able to access last year when she turned 25. The money that was hers was ready and waiting for her when she was mature and able to handle it, and was protected all those years from greedy parents, and others (and probably earned some good interest, too).
Kate claims in her new book that she wants to inspire other moms. But perhaps young Chip and Cissy McClure (pictured at left with Jessica in the hospital) are the real inspiration when it comes to raising a famous child.
For more about Jessica's story and how she's doing today, head to MSNBC: