Wednesday 18 September 2019

'It was impossible to live a life' - remembering Sienna Miller's complicated relationship with the media

Sienna Miller at the Burberry February 2018 show during London Fashion Week at Dimco Buildings on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)
Sienna Miller at the Burberry February 2018 show during London Fashion Week at Dimco Buildings on February 17, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Burberry)
Sienna Miller
Sienna Miller and Milk Studios host the International Medical Corps summer cocktail event at Milk Studios on June 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for International Medical Corps)
Actress Sienna Miller and David Sherborne QC arrive to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at The Royal Courts of Justice on November 24, 2011 in London, England
Sienna Miller attends Louis Vuitton 2019 Cruise Collection at Fondation Maeght on May 28, 2018 in Saint-Paul-De-Vence, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for Louis Vuitton)
Sienna Miller and Jude Law attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Sienna Miller attending the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit Gala 2019 in New York, USA
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

There was a time when Sienna Miller couldn't leave her house without it being a global news story.

For much of the noughties, she was the 'it' girl whose minutes of fame extended well past 15 minutes and the tabloids couldn't get enough of her. Her talent, although undeniable, was overshadowed be her seemingly juicy personal life as she was continuously portrayed as a voracious man-eater who allegedly couldn't help but date co-stars - and then some

In a time when it's hard to muster sympathy for the rich and famous, Sienna's story was different: her career was drastically affected by the nearly obsessive levels of interest in her romantic life and her most private information was leaked as a result of the News of the World's phone hacking scandal in 2011.

She changed her phone number three times in as many months, but still details of her life that only few knew was being continuously leaked.

Actress Sienna Miller and David Sherborne QC arrive to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at The Royal Courts of Justice on November 24, 2011 in London, England
Actress Sienna Miller and David Sherborne QC arrive to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry at The Royal Courts of Justice on November 24, 2011 in London, England

She became the first celebrity to settle a case with the now-defunct newspaper, which ran under Rupert Murdroch's News Corp, receiving a court ordered settlement of £100,000 after they admitted hacking people's phones for private information.

The paper ran stories based on private conversations between Miller and ex-fiancé Jude Law, including whether they wanted children, as well as correspondence with ex-boyfriend Daniel Craig.

Miller was the first celebrity to sue the organisation for compensation and said she chose to go public with the details of her case as a moment of taking back her power.

"I was living in a place and a time when the paparazzi were very toxic," she told Vulture in a candid interview. "I couldn’t function in that world. It was impossible to live a life and tolerate that. So I sued them and got this law changed, a harassment law against paparazzi.

"If I’m in London, where I’m going tonight, I can expect privacy.  I could have settled out of court and made that private, but I didn’t, because it was wrong. When pushed, I will fight back."

But it wasn't just the tabloids that went after Miller; she couldn't seem to catch a break in any interview, regardless of the publication.

"The worst was [an interview with] the New York Times,” she said. 

“I was doing my Broadway debut, and they did a profile on me and referred to my ex-fiancé [Jude Law] as a 'fling'.  A week later [the Times] did a profile on Jude, who also had a play on Broadway, and said he “had a three-year relationship and engagement with the actress Sienna Miller.”

Sienna Miller and Jude Law attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the
Sienna Miller and Jude Law attend the Costume Institute Gala Benefit to celebrate the opening of the "American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity" exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 3, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

“The latent sexism … the message is so clear. What they’re trying to say is that this person is frivolous and a slut, and this person I’d been engaged to and had an intense relationship with [isn’t]. It’s just disgusting. It made me angry.

"I got an apology that was a centimeter long. In a publication I value as one of the most noble in the world, it was so hurtful and crushing. It’s out there; no apology will take it away. And it listed people I’d never slept with in the opening. It makes you go totally weak. It takes any power you have."

Online Editors

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