Sadie Frost says Mirror hacking caused 'living hell'

Sadie Frost leaving High Court hearing Image copyright BBC Sport
Image caption Frost said hacking by Mirror journalists affected her relationship with fellow actor Jude Law

Actress Sadie Frost has told the High Court that having her phone hacked by Mirror Group journalists made her life a "living hell".

Describing the experience as the "lowest of the low", the 49-year-old actress and businesswoman said she did not know who to trust.

In 2003, she had a breakdown and went into hospital, which was a "terrible" incident but ended up in the papers.

Ms Frost is among eight high-profile figures claiming damages for hacking.

She told the court: "Your father is dying, you are going through divorce, you have postnatal depression, you are in and out of hospital, my baby was ill, he was born premature.

"I was at breaking point, I could not sleep, or eat, and I did not know who to trust as information kept getting into the media.

"I needed my loved ones around me. I was very upset, I was a very, very unhappy person.

"Every time I turned to someone to confide in them, it ended up in the newspapers, which added to my distress and trauma."

"I couldn't go and sit with my mum and have a cup of tea because I thought she was selling stories. I didn't trust my own mother."

'Panic attacks'

Ms Frost said her separation from fellow actor Jude Law was very difficult.

"I thought it might be Jude, trying to make me look bad for custody reasons, or my friends or family using me for their own gains. Either thought was heartbreaking.

"This was a deeply stressful time in my life and the fact my insecurities were being publicised obviously made it worse."

She described how friends, particularly model Kate Moss, questioned whether they could trust her.

"Even worse than that, Jude, the father of my children, thought for years that I was selling stories which created an animosity between us that has only really disappeared since the revelations about phone hacking."

Image caption Sadie Frost said she was 'humiliated' when a story emerged about her attending an AA meeting

Ms Frost said: "I couldn't take my youngest son to the park for two years because he was photographed. He would cry and I would get panic attacks.

"I lost two to three years of my life, they wanted me to fail.

She told the hearing that it felt like she and those closest to her were "being monitored and hunted down by a sort of secret police".

"Every area of my life was affected. There was nowhere I could go that was safe."

"If I went to the doctor or gynaecologist, details would be in the newspaper."

'Embarrassed and humiliated'

Ms Frost said she was left "incredibly embarrassed and humiliated" when a story emerged about her attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

She said she had been advised to go a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous "because it was a safe place".

"Someone quite high-profile took me there and I went there after everyone said it would be safe and anonymous," she told the court.

"I was portrayed as troubled, sad, as a party-girl. That's not why people go to AA, they go there to get help and be in a safe place."

She added: "I was portrayed for so long as a complete mess that I have had to overcome people's perception of me to rebuild my reputation as a successful businesswoman. I can only guess at the position I would be in if none of this had happened."

She said that the apology she had received from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) was "rather too little too late".

The hearing at the High Court in London is considering what compensation should be paid by MGN to Ms Frost, alongside BBC creative director Alan Yentob, soap stars Shane Richie, Shobna Gulati and Lucy Taggart, former footballer Paul Gascoigne, TV producer Robert Ashworth and flight attendant Lauren Alcorn.

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