LONDON actress Sienna Miller
said on Thursday she had been placed under a "web of surveillance" by a tabloid newspaper which listened into her messages and read emails, prompting her to accuse family and friends of leaking stories to the press.
Appearing at the Leveson inquiry into media practices and ethics, the star of movies such as "Layer Cake" and "Alfie" said she had felt violated by the constant coverage of intimate details of her private life in the press.
"(There was) this breeding of mistrust amongst all of us. Nobody could understand how this information was coming out...It was impossible to lead any kind of normal life," Miller said.
Miller's private life and particularly her romantic liaisons have long been staple fodder for the tabloid press.
The 29-year-old actress won 35,000 pounds from the Sun and the now defunct News of the World in November 2008 over her claims they had breached her privacy.
"I wanted to understand the extent of the information that they had on me," she said of the court case. "I wanted to know who knew, who had access to my telephone numbers, who had been listening to me ... I wanted to get to the bottom of it."
The Leveson inquiry, set up in July and expected to last a year, has given celebrities and others featured on newspaper front pages a chance to throw a light on how these stories were obtained and the impact they have had on their lives.
Miller said she had been spat at and abused by paparazzi seeking a good reaction shot. She described in detail how she had been terrified by the attention, how photographers drove dangerously to get a picture, making her feel that she would be safer to stay at home.
"I would often find myself -- I was 21 -- at midnight running down a dark street on my own with 10 big men chasing me," she said. "And the fact that they had cameras in their hand meant that that was legal, but if you take away the cameras, what have you got?
"You've got a pack of men chasing a woman. And obviously that's a very intimidating situation to be in."
Miller said she had eventually been shown notes made about her by a private investigator, including phone numbers, phone PIN numbers, the password to her emails and the numbers of 10 of her closest friends.
"There was just this web of surveillance which obviously makes it very easy to understand how they were getting all of this information," she told the London court room. "Eve
ryone close to me was being monitored and electronically listened to.
"I felt violated, and paranoid and anxious constantly.
"It's outrageous, it's unfathomable to feel like they can justify doing this. The ramifications on people's lives are rarely considered by the people who are doing it."