Charlotte Bellis - Updated Apr 2024

Updated On February 12, 2024
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Charlotte Bellis


Charlotte Bellis is a popular New Zealand journalist. Charlotte Bellis gained media attention after she discussed how difficult it was for her to return home because of the country’s strict COVID-19 border controls.

Early Life and Childhood

Charlotte Bellis was born on May 5, 1986, in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her age is currently 36 years old. She was born to her parents Bruce Bellis (father) and Barbara Bellis (mother).

Her father is a restaurateur and her mother is a housewife. She also posts pictures with her family on her social media accounts. Likewise, she holds New Zealand nationality and is of white ethnic background. Similarly, she follows Christianity and her zodiac sign is Taurus.


Regarding her academic history, she is a master’s degree holder in Journalism. She attended Selwyn House School for her early education. Bellis completed her master’s in Journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri in 2009.

Career and Professional Life

By profession, Bellis is a well-known New Zealand journalist, anchor, reporter, and entrepreneur. She began her journalism career as a television reporter in Christchurch and went on to host New Zealand’s 60 Minutes.

Charlotte lost her job at Prime News in February 2015, and the following month she started working for ABC World News in New York. She began working for the Al Jazeera news network in Doha, Qatar, in 2017.

Coverage of the 2021 Taliban Offensive

She began working in Kabul, Afghanistan, in July 2021, where she covered the Taliban’s takeover of the nation. Bellis was one of the three women in attendance at the initial Taliban press conference in Kabul. At that press conference, she attracted attention by bringing up women’s rights.

A few days later, she was given the opportunity to speak with the Taliban leader and member of their Cultural Commission Abdul Qahar Balkhi in person. New Zealand was praised in the interview for its recent humanitarian assistance, which included the donation of NZ$3 million to two international charity organizations for refugee help.

Charlotte Bellis

Caption: Charlotte Bellis was captured during the Taliban offensive
Source: Instagram

Bellis stated that she would stay in Kabul despite the Taliban taking control in order to keep them accountable on August 21. She said that “they’ll [the Taliban] have to drag me out of here.” I won’t be going anywhere soon. ]

Bellis stated that she would stay in Afghanistan for as long as she could on August 29 in an interview with Radio New Zealand. She was said to have left Afghanistan on October 14, 2021, according to press reports, yet on October 20, she was once more seen broadcasting live from Kabul.

Attempts to return to New Zealand

Bellis left Al Jazeera in November 2021 after being pregnant with her partner Jim Huylebroek, a photojournalist and writer for The New York Times, due to the extramarital pregnancy regulations in Qatar. Due to visa complications, the couple was unable to stay in Belgium for an extended period of time, so they left for Afghanistan, the only other country for which they apparently had visas to live.

Due to New Zealand’s border restrictions, she was unable to immediately return home and eventually turned to the Taliban for help. Bellis claims that the group’s top connections advised her to just state that she was married and to contact them if the situation got out of hand. Do not fear.

According to Chris Bunny, manager of New Zealand’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) system, Bellis had been contacted by staff about submitting a different application that would meet the criteria for emergency travel on January 28.

Along with national media outlets like Stuff and The New Zealand Herald, foreign outlets like The Guardian, GB News, The Washington Post, ABC News, and the Sydney Morning Herald also covered Bellis’ story.

In addition, human rights activists, observers, and Afghans, such as Emran Feroz of Austria, Muzhgan Samarqandi of New Zealand, Sahar Fetrat of Human Rights Watch, and Farahnaz Roman of the UK, criticized the media coverage of Bellis’ story for highlighting the unequal treatment of Afghans and non-Afghans and diverting attention from Taliban abuses of Afghan women and journalists.


Bellis claimed on January 31 that the MIQ system did not provide for pregnant women and that the application procedure was challenging and unclear because of the technicalities and clauses. She made these claims during an interview with Radio New Zealand. Additionally, Bellis confirmed the fact that the couple had received an asylum offer from an unnamed third country. The government has given Bellis a place to fly to New Zealand within a 14-day window after meeting the emergency allocation requirements, according to a statement from COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins that same day. Hipkins stated that Bellis had stated that she would not be leaving until late February, despite MIQ’s recommendation that she think about pushing her departure dates up.

Hipkins made a public apology on June 22 for disclosing personal information without Bellis’ permission and for making “inaccurate comments” that upset her. Bellis and Huylebroek have received threatening threats online as a result. Hipkins had been under a false belief that Bellis had visited Afghanistan and received consular aid. On March 15, Hipkins individually apologized to Bellis. Bellis responded by defending her role in bringing attention to issues with the MIQ system.

Journalist Rachel Smalley wrote “An Ode to Charlotte Bellis: One of the most influential political disruptors of this year” and published it on June 23, 2022, as:

“This is an ode to Charlotte Bellis, the pregnant journalist in Afghanistan who must surely be remembered as one of the most influential political disruptors of this year. Bellis moved the dial on MIQ. There is little doubt her crusade from Kabul influenced the government’s thinking to reopen the border and hasten a long-promised shift to home isolation for some New Zealanders.”

Bellis and Tudor Clee were honored as Kiwis of the Year on December 31, 2022, by the Kiwis in London Group (which has about 100,000 Facebook fans) for their contribution to eliminating the MIQ system. Lawful magazine named Clee Lawyer of the Year. Tudor Clee is the “Lawyer of the Year 2022 – From Car Boot to ‘Loophole Lawyer,’ the Lawyer Who Fought The Government And Won.”

Personal Life

Bellis is a straight-gender person. As for her marital status, she is a married woman. She tied the knot with Jim Huylebroek. Her husband is a professional photographer and a writer for the New York Times. However, there are no details about their wedding and married life. The couple has a daughter b together named Rita Alice Huylebroek. She is currently living in Christchurch with her husband and her daughter.

Charlotte Bellis

Caption: Charlotte Bellis with her husband
Source: Otago Daily Times

Charlotte Bellis – Net Worth 2023

Charlotte has earned a hefty amount of money throughout her multiple careers in journalism, media, reporting, and entrepreneurship. She has a net worth of between $4 million and $6 million as of April 2023. But she hasn’t disclosed her salary and other asset values.

Social Media

Reflecting on her social media activity, she is active on Instagram and Twitter. Her Instagram account ‘@charlottebellis’ has gained more than 63.1K followers and has shared 600 posts. Likewise, she joined Twitter on October 2007 and has more than 33.8K followers on her account ‘@CharlotteBellis’.

Charlotte Bellis – Body Measurements

As for her physical appearance, she has an amazing fit body personality. She stands at a height of 5 feet 6 inches and has a weight of 55kg. However, there are no details about her body stats like dress size, bra size, waist size, and so on. She has a pair of blue eyes with blonde colored hair.

Charlotte Bellis

Caption: Charlotte Bellis posing for a photo
Source: Instagram