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Sienna Miller: I was spat at and abused


Sienna Miller has described her "terrifying" experiences at the hands of the paparazzi in an appearance before the Leveson Inquiry this morning (24 November).

The actress, 29, took to the witness stand as part of the two-week investigation into media ethics and phone hacking.

Sienna told the central London hearing that her treatment at the hands of the press included "anything to being spat to being verbally abused."

"I would often find myself - I was 21 - at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 big men chasing me, but the fact they had cameras meant it was legal," she said. "Take that away and what you got? A pack of men chasing a woman, and obviously that's a terrifying situation."

The Alfie star admitted she was daunted by the prospect taking on the press, but was motivated to act after extremely private information about her life appeared in the papers on an almost weekly basis.

At the time, she said, she was baffled by how the information was getting out and even accused her loved ones of leaking it.

"The first initial steps I took were to change my mobile number," she said. "And then I changed it again and again, and I ended up changing it three times in three months. Naturally, having changed my number and being pretty convinced that it couldn't be as a result of hacking, I accused my friends and family of selling stories and they accused each other as well.

"I feel terrible that I would even consider accusing people of betraying me like that, especially being people who I know would rather die than betray me."

The actress went onto recall how she became "constantly very scared and intensely paranoid" about the scale of media intrusion into her life.

"I felt like I was living in some sort of video game and people pre-empting every move I made, obviously as a result of accessing my private information," she said.

Earlier this year, Sienna received £100,000 in compensation from News International over phone hacking but said she was still awaiting "full disclosure" of the surveillance she was subject to.

The actress is the latest in a string of high-profile figures to testify at the inquiry, which closes tomorrow. Other witnesses include Hugh Grant, JK Rowling, the parents of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and the parents of missing toddler Madeleine McCann.

"I realise there are far more serious cases than me, the Dowlers and the McCanns...," Sienna said today. "... I had to fight tooth and nail to get the freedom I have now. It was this breeding of mistrust ... nobody could understand how this information was coming out. It was impossible to leave any sort of normal life at that time."

Watch an extract from Sienna's testimony to the inquiry this morning, in the video from ITV News, below.



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