Rowling: UK press left me feeling under siege

The creator of boy wizard Harry Potter said media interest began shortly after the publication of her first novel in 1997 and soon escalated, with photographers and reporters frequently stationed outside her home.

“It feels threatening to have people watching you,” she said.

Once, her daughter came home from primary school and Rowling found a letter from a journalist in the child’s backpack. “I felt such a sense of invasion,” Rowling said. “It’s very difficult to say how angry I felt that my 5-year-old daughter’s school was no longer a place of complete security from journalists.”

By the time her younger children were born in 2003 and 2005, Rowling said, the scrutiny was “like being under siege and like being a hostage.”

Rowling was the latest in a string of prominent people to tell the inquiry about the distressing effect on their lives of intense press interest.

Earlier on Thursday, actress Sienna Miller said she was left paranoid by years of relentless tabloid pursuit that ranged from paparazzi outside her house to the hacking of her mobile phone. Miller said the surveillance, and a stream of personal stories about her in the tabloids, led her to accuse friends and family of leaking information to the media.

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