'I was abused, spat at by paparazzi'

Published: 25 November, 2011 08:29 IST | Agencies |

Actress Sienna Miller tells inquiry that pursuit and abuse left her scared and paranoid

Actress Sienna Miller tells inquiry that pursuit and abuse left her scared and paranoid

Actress Sienna Miller told a media ethics inquiry yesterday that she was left paranoid, anxious and scared by years of relentless tabloid pursuit that ranged from paparazzi outside her house to the hacking of her mobile phone.

Hounded by the media: Actress Sienna Miller told the inquiry that the
hordes of men following her with camera made her feel like she was
living some sort of video game. pic/afp

Miller said the surveillance, and a stream of personal stories about her in the tabloid press, led her to accuse friends and family of leaking information to the media. In fact, her cell phone voice mails had been hacked by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World (NOTW).

Miller (29), said the scrutiny left her feeling "very violated and very paranoid and anxious, constantly."
"I felt like I was living in some sort of video game," Miller said.

Miller said the constant attention of photographers was "really terrifying."

"For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily," she said.

"I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal."

Take to court
Miller was one of the first celebrities to take NOTW to court over illegal eavesdropping. In May the newspaper agreed to pay her 100,000 pounds (Rs 80 lakh) to settle claim her phone had been hacked.

The newspaper's parent company now faces dozens of lawsuits from alleged hacking victims.

Miller said taking on Murdoch's media conglomerate had been a difficult decision.

"I was very nervous about taking on an empire that was richer and far more powerful than I will ever be," she said. "It was very daunting."

Murdoch closed down the NOTW in July after evidence emerged that it had illegally accessed the mobile phone voice mails of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is due to give evidence about the effect of media intrusion on her life.

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