NEWS

Lily Allen Accuses Met Police Of Victim-Shaming Her Over Stalking Ordeal

20/04/2016 13:06 | Updated 20 April 2016

Lily Allen has accused the police of "victim-shaming" her after she spoke out about being dissatisfied with their response to her stalking case.

In an interview with BBC Newsnight, the singer read out an email she had received from a Met officer who said that the "high-profile" nature of her claims could discourage other victims from coming forward.

She told presenter Kirsty Wark: "I think it's victim-shaming and victim-blaming."

BBC Newsnight
Lily Allen shared her ordeal on BBC Newsnight 

Allen, 30, revealed her seven-year ordeal at the hands of stalker Alex Gray, also 30, in an interview with The Observer on Sunday where she detailed the time he had burst into her home while she and her children were sleeping, had threatened to stab her through the face and spent nights hiding in her garden.

She claimed that investigators had treated her as a "nuisance rather than a victim", had destroyed evidence that supported her case, taken away a panic alarm after a few months and even refused to allow her to see and then keep a photo of her stalker.

After the interview, the mother-of-two said she received an email from a Met officer wanting to "understand what - if anything - went wrong during the investigation" while suggesting Allen's response would dissuade other victims from reporting stalkers.

Katja Ogrin/EMPICS Entertainment
Allen pictued on stage at the 02 Academy in Birmingham last year 

It read: "As you know there have been press reports suggesting you were dissatisfied with the response you received.

"Further, due to the high-profile of this matter, I fear other victims of similar crimes have read the story and now may not have the confidence in us to support such matters.

"As such, it is really important I can understand what – if anything –went wrong during the investigation.

"I was saddened to hear of this report, I would like to heard your views on what we could do better."

The National Stalking Helpline is open from 9.30am - 4pm on weekdays and 1pm - 4pm on Wednesdays. Call 0808 802 0300.

Allen has been active on Twitter discussing her experience with the Met and retweeting messages of empathy and support.

On Tuesday she wrote: “#Newsnight tonight talking about #stalking for #NSAW I'm a WELL KNOWN, WEALTHY, WHITE WOMAN , my case was handled badly what if I weren't ?”

She retweeted a response which opined: “You’d be extra fucked if you were black and poor.”

“Lily Allen’s experience of the justice system is so similar to the thousands of survivors we support”, said Women’s Aid.

Two Twitter users shared their own experiences of stalking, complaining they had received no help from the police, with one stating she “had the same feeling of being a nuisance with the police.”

Many users thanked the singer for sharing her story. Among them, Samantha Morton wrote: “So brave of you. I’ve been stalked by the same man since 14 yrs old. In prison now but took its time.”

Gray was charged with burglary after he broke into Allen's bedroom in October last year while she was sleeping and screamed at her before stealing her handbag.

He was also charged with harassment after she hired her own lawyer to pursue the matter, although the stalking count reportedly did not cover anything before 2015.

He was convicted at Harrow Crown Court this month and will be sentenced in May.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said they take stalking and harassment "extremely seriously". 

Advice on the force's website states: "If you think you are being stalked or suffering harassment, report your concerns to the police."

It also advises taking a mobile phone with you when you go out, carrying a personal attack alarm and altering your daily routines. 

You can watch Allen's Newsnight video in full below. 

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS