Now-Defunct British Tabloid Faces Celebrity Wrath

British celebrities testify against tabloid News of the World, citing intrusive behavior that left many threatened.


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With the British tabloid press under siege for intrusive behavior, "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling has testified to a U.K. media ethic inquiry that journalists went so far as to slip notes into her 5-year-old daughter's school bag.

Rowling said she felt a huge sense of invasion at the move.

News of the World, which shut down amid phone hacking and corruption allegations, is at the center of the ethics inquiry. Actress Sienna Miller, who won damages against the paper for hacking, joined Rowling in testifying Thursday. She was one of the first celebrities to take the defunct tabloid to court.

"For a number of years I was relentlessly pursued by 10 to 15 men, almost daily," she said. "Spat at, verbally abused.

"I would often find myself, at the age of 21, at midnight, running down a dark street on my own with 10 men chasing me. And the fact they had cameras in their hands made that legal."

Witnesses have included celebrities like actor Hugh Grant and ordinary people pursued in times of grief, including the parents of murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler, whose voice mails were accessed by the News of the World after she disappeared in 2002.

Her parents said the hacking gave them false hope their daughter was still alive during the investigation into her disappearance.

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