Lily Allen admits: 'I feel like a caged animal'

Pop singer reveals her anger and distress at being 'followed by 20 men with cameras all day'

As one of Britain's most precocious and photogenic musical talents, Lily Allen has rarely been out of the public eye since she shot to fame with her first album in 2006. But today, the singer reveals how the intense glare of paparazzi photographers over the past few years has left her feeling like a "caged animal".

Speaking in an interview with The Independent magazine, Allen described being "followed by 20 men with cameras all day", culminating in a car accident this month during which she was photographed in a distressed and angry state.

The 23-year-old expressed her relief at obtaining a court injunction which protects her from paparazzi harassment, granted shortly after the car accident.

"I already know that it's going to change my life ... I'm beyond happy. It's like I've been allowed to have success and a life, because sometimes it makes you feel like a caged animal," she said.

Days before the accident, Allen was cautioned by the police for assaulting a photographer outside her home. Some time later she was photographed kicking a photographer who had apparently driven into the back of her car. After obtaining a court injunction against two picture agencies, Allen's lawyer, Mark Thomson, released a statement stating: "My client has faced constant harassment over the last few months from the paparazzi." Allen described the moment the accident took place as her breaking point in which she thought: "I've had it with the press, I can't do this any more."

She said: "Seven cars had been chasing me since I left home. I turned into a T-junction and they all ran a red light, then tried to overtake on the inside. A woman had to slam the brakes on her car as they cut in. She had two children in the car, a baby in the back seat, a six-year-old in the front. I braked too, of course, and this guy ran into the back of me. I got out of the car. I was shaken up. There was a lot of force. I was really angry. I went up to him and said, you know, 'What the fuck are you doing? You can't do this'.

"Instead of talking to me like a decent human being would at a decent human level, he got his camera out and started taking pictures, and I just thought, 'I've had it with the press'... It was mental. And I got back into the car and called my lawyer."

Allen went on to describe the trauma of losing her unborn baby – by her then boyfriend, Ed Simmons, of the band Chemical Brothers – and the press intrusion she faced during that difficult time.

Watch Lily Allen's video for her new single 'Not Fair'

"It was a really weird, horrid time. What was worst about it was that I didn't engage with what was really happening on an emotional level, because I was dealing with the press side of it.

"I couldn't really comprehend what was happening, because I was concentrating on trying to control the story. People shouldn't have known that I was pregnant anyway. When it became obvious that they knew, we had to say to them, 'I'm not three months yet, please don't write the story because it's too early and we don't know if it will go wrong'. Of course, they ran it, and it did go wrong, and that was really ... just ... not a nice time."

The singer has recently released her second album, It's not Me, It's You, to critical acclaim.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Chief inspector of GPs: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    Steve Field: ‘Most doctors don’t really know what bad practice can be like for patients’

    The man charged with inspecting doctors explains why he may not be welcome in every surgery
    Stolen youth: Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing

    Stolen youth

    Younger blood can reverse many of the effects of ageing
    Bob Willoughby: Hollywood's first behind the scenes photographer

    Bob Willoughby: The reel deal

    He was the photographer who brought documentary photojournalism to Hollywood, changing the way film stars would be portrayed for ever
    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Hollywood heavyweights produce world's most expensive corporate video - for Macau casino

    Scorsese in the director's chair with De Niro, DiCaprio and Pitt to star
    Angelina Jolie's wedding dress: made by Versace, designed by her children

    Made by Versace, designed by her children

    Angelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
    Anyone for pulled chicken?

    Pulling chicks

    Pulled pork has gone from being a US barbecue secret to a regular on supermarket shelves. Now KFC is trying to tempt us with a chicken version
    9 best steam generator irons

    9 best steam generator irons

    To get through your ironing as swiftly as possible, invest in one of these efficient gadgets
    England v Norway: Wayne Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    Rooney admits England must ‘put on a show’ to regain faith

    New captain vows side will deliver for small Wembley crowd
    ‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing

    ‘We knew he was something special’

    Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

    'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

    US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
    Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

    Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
    Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    James Frey's literary treasure hunt

    Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

    What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

    Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York