Reporter slipped note into daughter’s school bag, angry JK Rowling tells hacking probe
Published 24/11/2011 | 12:21
HARRY Potter author JK Rowling today told Britain’s hacking scandal inquiry how she found a note that a reporter had slipped inside the bag of her elder daughter when she was in her first year at primary school.
She recalled: "I unzipped her schoolbag in the evening, and among the usual letters from school and the debris that every child generates, I found an envelope and a letter addressed to me from a journalist.
"The letter said that he intended to ask a mother at the school to put this in my daughter's bag.
"I can only say that I felt such a sense of invasion. It is very difficult to say how angry I felt that my five-year-old daughter's school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists."
JK Rowling also told the Leveson Inquiry into illegal newspaper phone hacking that she has had to take action against newspapers about 50 times over breaches of privacy and misreporting.
The author said journalists "drove her out" of the home she bought in 1997 with the advance from the first of her seven Harry Potter books.
She told the inquiry into press standards she felt like a "sitting duck" after a photograph was published of the house number and street name, and it became "untenable" to remain there.
Earlier actress Sienna Miller told the Inquiry how she accused her family and friends of selling stories to the media after journalists obtained intimate information about her by hacking her phone.
And she described how she felt "terrible" for even considering that those closest to her could betray her in this way.
She told how she changed her phone number three times in three months after becoming concerned that personal details were finding their way into newspaper stories.
Having switched her number repeatedly, Miller said she was "pretty convinced" the leaks could not be the result of phone hacking and so accused her close friends and family of being the source.
The actress, whose films include Layer Cake, Alfie and Stardust, said a reporter found out about a particular "very private" piece of information which she had only told to four people, including her mother.
"I am very lucky, I have a very tight group of friends and a very supportive family, and to this date no-one has ever sold a story on me," she said.
"But it was baffling how certain pieces of information kept coming out and the first initial steps I took were to change my mobile number.
"And then I changed it again and again, and I ended up changing it three times in three months."
She added: "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."
Miller went on: "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.
"But it just seemed so entirely paranoid to assume that your house is being bugged or you're being listened to somehow."