Leveson Inquiry: Sienna Miller Was 'Spat At And Abused' By Photographers

24/11/2011 11:37 | Updated 25 November 2011

Sienna Miller has said she was "spat at and abused" by paparazzi seeking a good photo, and that the hacking of her phone left her in a state of "complete anxiety and paranoia".

Giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry into media ethics on Thursday, the 28-year-old Hollywood actress recalled what her life was like before she obtained a court order banning photographers from pursuing her.

"I was 21. I would often find myself running down a dark street on my own with 10 big men chasing me," she said.

"If you take away the cameras what have you got? A pack of men chasing a woman. That's a very intimidating situation to be in."

Miller told the inquiry in central London that she was baffled at how so many stories about her private life kept appearing in the tabloid press. She began to suspect her close friends and family of selling stories to the media.


But it transpired that her phone had been hacked by the News of the World.

"I have a very tight group of friends. To this day no one has ever sold a story on me regardless of the fact they have been offered large amounts of money," she said.

"It was baffling how certain pieces of information kept coming out. I changed my mobile number, then I changed it again and again.

"I accused my friends and family of selling stories and they accused each other."

"It was my mother accusing people, people accusing my mother... everyone was very upset and confused and I felt very violated by this constant barrage of information being published."

After discovering her phone and the phones of her friends had been hacked, Miller reached a £100,000 settlement with the NotW.

Miller said she lived in "complete anxiety and paranoia" as she did not know where the stories were coming from.

"Every area of my life was under constant surveillance. I felt very violated and very paranoid," she told the inquiry.

"People found out before I'd even arrived before I was going. I didn't understand how they knew. I felt I was living in some sort of video game."

The inquiry has also heard from Max Mosely. The former president of the FIA won £60,000 in damages from the tabloid after it ran a story claiming he had taken part in a "Nazi orgy".

He told the inquiry that despite all other other things he had done in his life, it was the NotW story that he would be remembered for.

"Forever how long I live now that is the number one thing people think of when they hear my name," he said.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who has been upset at what she sees as undue intrusion by the media into the lives of her children, is due to be the final witness today.

The first witness to give evidence was protected from being identified by a High Court order and their session was not televised. It is alleged his phone was hacked while he was in a relationship with a celebrity.

Also giving evidence today is Mark Thompson, a lawyer who has acted for victims of hacking including Miller and her ex-husband Jude Law.

On Wednesday the parents of missing Madeline McCann hit out at the British media for the way it treated the family following the search for their four-year-old daughter.

Kate McCann told the inquiry she felt "totally violated" by the News of the World after it published her diary without her permission.

24/11/2011 16:40 GMT

Rowling says the press complaints commission is "toothless".

"The PCC is toothless. It offers very little in the way of sanction to papers. it is a wrist slapping exercise at best."

"I am vehemently opposed to state control of media. But I do feel we need a body that has teeth."

24/11/2011 16:27 GMT

Rowling shown a Sunday Times article she has not seen before

JK Rowling has been handed a copy of an article in the Sunday Times that she has not seen before.

It is a piece published on the 14 August 2011 that claims that Rowling claimed to introduce "non-native" plants to her garden.

An exasperated Rowling says: "It's just ludicrous, I find it ludicrous. how is this...I do not recognize these plants I am going to plant."

"I thought they weren't going to run the article."

24/11/2011 16:19 GMT

Rowling is speaking about an article in the Daily Express that claimed an unpleasant character in the Harry Potter books was based on her ex-husband.

She says it was not true and caused distress to her daughter whose biological father was Rowling's ex-husband.

"I said humorously the character was Gilderoy Lockhart was based on someone I had lived with briefly," she says. "That's true, but this person cant probably even remember we were flatmates."

She says the Express depicted her as the "kind of vindicate person who would use a best selling book to vilify someone".

"I had to sit down with my eldest daughter, talking about her biological father, and say this isn't true ... It was a horrible conversation to have to have."

24/11/2011 16:00 GMT

Rowling: "I don't see why it is in the public interest to know exactly where I live."

24/11/2011 15:52 GMT

Rowling says some parts of the British press seek retribution if people try to "lock horns" with them.

"A picture of my child was put in to the papers so very quickly after I asked them not to print my address, I thought that was spiteful."

24/11/2011 15:50 GMT

Rowling says her desire to keep the precise address of her home secret is because she has some times been targeted by "unbalanced individuals".

She says she is not being "starry or precious" but on a number of occasions she has had to involve the police to deal with threats against her.

"I think its reasonable of me to wish the papers would refrain from making my whereabouts so very very identifiable," she says. "I have to live somewhere."

24/11/2011 15:44 GMT

Rowling attacks the "outrageous" occasion when a journalist said her daughter had distressed pupils at her school by telling them Harry Potter died in the seventh book.

"My daughter was characterised as some sort of bully," she says. "There was not one word of truth of it."

"She could not have told anyone what happened in book seven because at her own request she did not want to know."

24/11/2011 15:40 GMT

Rowling says that she has only put on a swimsuit in public twice since 1998, and both times photographs have been published.

"On the second occasion my guard was down, we' gone on holiday we hadn't encountered any press, I assumed wrongly...I forgot myself."

24/11/2011 15:37 GMT

Rowling recalls a time when she got so worn down by the press attention she chased a photographer outside her house.

"I saw the photographer taking a photo from over the street," she says.

"I rather absurdly gave chase, how i thought I would outrun a 20-something paparazzo while pushing a buggy ... the cumulative effect becomes quite draining."

24/11/2011 15:28 GMT

Rowling is speaking about a photograph that was taken of her daughter in swimsuit.

"Unlike an untruth that is in print that you can receive an apology when an image is disseminated it can spread about the world like a virus.

"That photo was on the internet months after the press complaints commission ruling.

She adds: "Given the fact an image has a life that cannot be recalled, when you have seen what someone looks like in their swimwear, an apology can not remove that."

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