Antonia de Sancha: 'I am the real victim,' : In her first interview on the David Mellor scandal, Antonia de Sancha spoke to Keren David

ANTONIA de Sancha, the actress linked to David Mellor, yesterday gave the Independent her first interview since the scandal broke, and said that she was the real victim of the affair.

Insisting that she was in no way responsible for the story reaching the press, she said: 'I'm being made to look like a tart strutting her stuff for all to see. It is grotesque. I have never done anything at all that I am ashamed of.

'I feel I am the victim. I shouldn't have to. But I have kept my self-respect and I will rebuild my life,' she said.

Speaking as Downing Street indicated that an increasingly embattled Mr Mellor had the full support of the Prime Minister, Ms de Sancha accused newspapers of printing lies about her life and her role in the alleged affair.

Speaking at a hotel outside London, the 31-year-old actress, who was dressed elegantly, appeared close to tears during the interview. In the mannered tones of a professional actress, she denied that she had been paid to reveal the affair to the People, which broke the story last Sunday and carried the transcript of a tape-recorded conversation with Mr Mellor, Secretary of State for National Heritage.

She said that she had 'reason to believe' that her telephone had been tapped but added it was 'a complete and utter mystery to me' how the press had obtained the tape or the transcript.

Press reports have named her former landlord Nick Philp, the 'electronics expert' who rented her a room in his house in Chelsea, as being involved in the leaking of the story, but she refused to talk about him.

She denied selling her story: 'I would never stoop so low as to do anything to get money in this situation. Do people really think I would do anything that would lead to being treated like this by the press? I cannot go out. I feel like the Elephant Woman.'

Ms de Sancha said that a privacy law should be brought in to protect people like herself. 'There has to be a law and it has to be abided by. People have told the most terrible untruths about me. Papers should be prevented from printing those stories.'

She said that she was considering taking legal action against them, and going to the Press Complaints Commission, which said yesterday that Mr Mellor had made no formal complaint about press coverage.

Ms de Sancha would not comment on whether David Mellor was the best politician to consider the issue of privacy, nor would she talk about their relationship. Peter Meineck, of the theatrical production company Aquila Productions, a former employer who is acting for her, said she had agreed to talk to the Independent as a 'damage limitation exercise' and had no desire to inflame the situation.

But she said there were almost no cases where a person's private life was relevant to their professional business. 'As long as it doesn't affect what goes on in your professional life it doesn't matter at all. Your professional life is your professional life. They are two separate issues. We are all human beings. I don't think it is the public's business, I don't think they have a right to know.'

Since the scandal broke, the public has been offered many lurid stories about her. The Sun revealed she had acted last year in what it described as a 'soft-porn' film called The Pieman and carried a number of pictures of her semi-clothed and engaged in simulated sex acts. It printed an interview with Dominic Prince, a journalist who claimed to be a former lover, under the headline 'She gave a great toe job'.

The Daily Express called her 'selfish, self-obsessed, neurotic and high-handed'. The Daily Mirror printed a picture of her bedroom under the headline 'How could he sink so low?'

Topless promotional pictures of Ms de Sancha have been printed without her permission, and many papers have run photographs of her scantily clad at parties. She said: 'I'm very shocked at the whole thing, I'm devastated. These are outrageous and appalling, out-and-out lies that are being printed about me. 'People are being quoted as my friends who I've never met. I'm trying to be very strong. But I would rather have been hit over the head than go through this.'

Ms de Sancha - who trained at Rada and has acted in several classical plays - said she was a serious actress who wanted to work at her craft. The Pieman was 'a short film, and yes, there was a bed scene. Well so what? It was not a porn film, it was a perfectly clean normal film, nothing wrong and my clothes remained on.

'Many classical actresses have played bed scenes, look at Glenda Jackson. It's part of life. As long as it's all in good taste, I see nothing wrong with it.'

She expressed disbelief that the media had 'wasted so much time on this story . . . There are so many more important things. People fighting, being murdered. Let's face it, there's a real world out there. Can we please do something about it because it's really important.'

(Photograph omitted)

Major backs Mellor, page 2

Letters, page 20

Last chance saloon, page 21

people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballGunners confirm signing from Manchester United
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Assessor

£26000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: SAP Assessor Job T...

SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: SEN Jobs Available Devon

Infrastructure Lead, (Trading, VCE, Converged, Hyper V)

£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...

Software Solution Technician - Peterborough - up to £21,000

£20000 - £21000 per annum + Training: Ashdown Group: Graduate Software Solutio...

Day In a Page

'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
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering