On Thursday, Hollywood actress Sienna Miller confessed to a media ethics inquiry that after years of abuse from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid, “News of the World”, she was left paranoid. According to Associated Press, the relentless paparazzi pursuit and the stories that would later come out about her in the paper, left severely damaging scars on her social life. She reached the point of getting into fights with friends and family that she thought had revealed details on her private life to the publication.
Sienna Miller is one of those actors who know how damaging is to have paparazzi intruding. Her cell phone was hacked by the journalists working for “News of the World” and her videos, voice messages, photos and basically all the content of her phone was in the hands of the paparazzi. It all began when Miller, now at the age of 29, started dating actor Jude Law. “For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily” the actress said. “Spat at, verbally abused”. She added that it often happened that she would have to run from the reporters at midnight, on dark alleys. “And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal”.
Sienna Miller took her case to court and was among the first celebrities who filed a lawsuit against the publication. She remembers that when she decided to take this step she was “very nervous” as she realized she was actually fighting against a rich and powerful empire. In May 2011, the tabloid offered her 160,000 dollars as a settlement in the phone hacking case. Since then, other celebrities have filed lawsuits against Murdoch’s publication and several journalists were arrested. In addition to that, the scandal dragged with it two top police officers in London and two senior executives at “News of the World”.
The media ethics inquiry, led by Judge Brian Levenson, will put together a report for 2012, asking for some serious changes in the regulations that the British media must submit to.