Lily Allen has suffered personal trauma and continued paparazzi harassment for the past 12 months. Now the real cost to her privacy has emerged: a state-of-the-art £60,000 security system for her new home.
The singer is taking legal action against Associated Newspapers after the Daily Mail published pictures of her recently acquired £3m mansion on its website in September.
According to legal papers filed at the High Court, revelations regarding the location of the house have forced Allen to install a cutting edge audiovisual gate entry system, intruder alarm and CCTV surveillance cameras worth tens of thousands of pounds in order to protect her privacy.
The papers allege copyright infringement and breach of confidence, said a spokesperson for Allen's law firm, Atkins Thomson. The article, which has been removed, ran under the headline: "Pregnant Lily spends £3m on stunning Cotswolds home." Allen is hoping to receive between £50,000 and £100,000 in damages.
The move will reignite the debate over the acceptable limits of media intrusion into the private lives of public figures.
The court papers state that Allen "is not a public figure in any real sense", adding that the publication of the photographs caused her "considerable distress and anxiety" and left her vulnerable to stalkers. The singer also claims she owns the copyright to the published photographs, a permission she obtained from Savills plc, the agent which brokered her property deal last year.
The papers claim that the Daily Mail article contained the property's name, address, location, precise layout, fixtures and fittings and details of its private gardens and rear exterior. The details were widely reproduced across the web. Allen is one of the figures which the newspaper uses in its banner promoting the "TV and Showbiz" section of its website.
This latest legal action follows a litigious few months for the singer, who suffered a miscarriage in November. In October, she won damages from a French sports magazine over an article which falsely claimed that she had called Victoria Beckham a "monster" and X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole "stupid and superficial". In September 2009, she received £10,000 in damages and an apology from The Sun, which repeated some of those claims.
Earlier this month, Allen publicly rejected a Twitter request from Piers Morgan to appear on his ITV1 chat show. She posted in reply: "I've got no interest in coming on your show, you've been asking me for years."
Earlier this month, Allen confirmed that she was launching a new record label with the backing of Sony Music, despite posting a blog in September 2009 saying that she had no intention of further profiting from recorded music.Reuse content