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Why Lily Allen and David Harbour Have Parental Controls on Each Other’s Smartphones

Why Lily Allen and David Harbour Are the ‘Caregiver’ for Each Other’s Smartphones
Lily Allen and David Harbour JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Lily Allen and husband David Harbour work together to combat excessive screen time.

“I now have a kids’ phone called Pinwheel. It has no browsing capability and no social media, but you can still have Uber and Spotify,” Allen, 39, said in a Sunday, May 26, Sunday Times profile. “My husband is the caregiver on it, so he controls what I’m allowed to have as an app on my phone. I’m the controller of his as well.”

She continued, “Because they’re made for kids, he’s [listed as] my parent and I’m his parent. ‘What’s your child’s name? David, [almost] aged 50.’”

Allen and the Stranger Things star, 49, wed in September 2020. She was previously married to Sam Cooper, with whom she shares daughters Ethel, 13, and Marnie, 11. Allen has also tried to limit her kids’ phone use after reading a book that claimed children shouldn’t even have phones until they are 14 years old.

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“The creative side of my brain has been ruined by smartphones. I feel like everyone feels the same,” she told the British newspaper. “I don’t know anyone who could possibly say that the quality of their life is improved by the presence of a smartphone. I think it’s destroyed us as a species. It’s horrendous that they’re designed to be so addictive. Some of us have more addictive personalities than others. It’s evil.”

Allen also cited the effects of social media for her position, noting that the Internet has made “every comment indelible and intractable.”

“It’s unnatural. I don’t think, as human beings, that you’re meant to share ideas and for them to be set in stone,” the singer said. “We are meant to evolve as people. How are you meant to do that if you’re always held to account by things that you’ve said in the past? I said that 20 years ago when I was a completely different person, hadn’t been married, didn’t have children. Of course, I had a different outlook on life. Don’t hold me to that.”

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Limiting phone usage has worked for the couple, with her best friend Miquita Oliver telling The Times that the actor is good for Allen.

“He makes her laugh. Lily likes to giggle,” Oliver, 40, gushed. “From the second I met David, I fell in love with his energy. He is very kind and he really, really likes [Lily].”

Allen further revealed that she “recently” started being able to depend on Harbour when she needs help.

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“I went on a treatment, a sort of trauma weekend, in upstate New York. It was just with one person — a one-to-one thing. And what came out of it was this complete inability to be vulnerable,” Allen said. “So I’ve been exercising my right to ask for help, and it’s completely changed my life. Just dumb things, like getting up in the morning, being tired, rolling over and saying to David, ‘Can you do breakfast and the school run this morning?’ And him saying, ‘Yes, [of] course I can!’”

A source previously told Us Weekly that Allen and Harbour do make a “wonderful team.”

“They’re madly in love and so grateful to have found each other,” the insider said in December 2022. “David and Lily are wildly attracted to each other, their chemistry is off the charts, but they’re also best friends who can have as much fun chilling in front of the TV or baking with the kids together as they can on any five-star night out.”

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