When Chelsea Clinton marries Marc Mezvinsky on Saturday in Rhinebeck, New York, reporters of all stripes will be there to document it. The celebrity weeklies will surely be there, as will virtually every newspaper with a features department, prowling around for any kernel of information. But two people who won't be upstate looking for news about the former POTUS's daughter and her fiancé are Thomas Nilsson and Kjerste Sortland of the Norwegian newspaper, Verdens Gang.
Last week, the pair were arrested and charged with trespassing when they went to the purported wedding location and attempted to snap a couple of pictures. But don’t make too much out of the incident, Nilsson told The Daily Beast in a phone interview yesterday.
"We didn't spend any time in jail," he said, speaking from his apartment in midtown Manhattan. " The AP text made it sound more dramatic than it was. They said we were arrested, but [the whole incident] was just on the site for 10 minutes. When you read 'arrested’ you think we went to jail, but we didn't."
Still, Nilsson said he was a little surprised by the reaction, explaining that he and his alleged partner in crime didn't even get into the actual Astor Courts. "We were thinking we'd go up [to Rhinebeck] and write a little bit, talking with the shopkeepers and the hotels, blah blah blah. And then we thought we'd take a picture of Astor Courts. Our intention was never to get a picture of the house. We knew that was impossible. We thought we'd get a picture of the gate."
• View Our Full Coverage of Chelsea Clinton’s Wedding Unfortunately, security at Astor Courts didn't see it that way. When Nilsson and Sortland reached the end of the long driveway and began taking photographs, a guard called the police, who arrived in a jiffy and put a stop to the Norwegians' little adventure. Said Captain Robert Nuzzo of the New York State Police, "The driveway is marked ‘no trespassing,’ and it was marked that way long before this event was going on."
The worst that could happen to the pair as a result of their alleged infraction? A fine of up to $250 and a possible jail sentence lasting up to 14 days. (The diligent folks from law enforcement also erased Nilsson's film).
"We're not going to fight it. We just want to pay and be done with it," said Nilsson, who's hoping the part about a jail sentence doesn't come to pass when he goes back to the area for sentencing in mid-August.
Just don't expect to see him and his colleague around town before then. "I don't know what there is to report up there, actually," he said of the pre-wedding media crush. "If you're only going to get pictures of black cars, I'd rather stay home."
Jacob Bernstein is a senior reporter at The Daily Beast. He has also written for New York magazine, Paper, and The Huffington Post.