Lily Allen on her stalker: 'It began with a tweet, then it escalated'
Lily Allen spoke exclusively to The Observer today (April 17) about her 7-year ordeal in the hands of a stalker.
Alex Gray will be sentenced for stalking the star soon. His campaign of terror started in 2009 with a tweet claiming that he had written her song 'The Fear.' His Twitter name was @lilyallenRIP.
This was followed by abusive letters as well as direct contact with Allen's representatives. The letters were handed to the police.
It went up another notch when she performed live.
She said: "Then I was on stage and someone holds up a banner saying. 'I wrote The Fear'."
Allen called the police again and they lent her a panic alarm for a few months. They initially would not show her a photo of their suspect but eventually showed her one before taking the photo away again.
She said: "I felt alone. I have some trust issues now, not least with the police. Who can you trust if you cannot trust institutions like the police?"
In October 2015, Allen burned the dinner she had been cooking: "I had all sorts of metal shutters and locks on the doors but I'd been cooking and burned a pan and opened the back door. I closed it but forgot to lock it when I went to bed.
"I sat up and looked and the door handle was twisting around.
"Alex Gray came steaming in and I didn't know who he was. I recoiled and he ripped the duvet off, calling me a 'fucking bitch' and yelling about where his dad is."
Allen could see he was hiding something, possibly a knife, under his jacket. Fortunately, she was not alone and her friend came to her rescue, pushing the intruder out of the house. She immediately checked on her children"
"There was this second outside my kids' room when I was terrified to go in, in case of what I might find."
The police thought the intruder was a random drunk stranger but when Allen noticed her handbag was missing, they realised that they could now class the incident as a burglary and that was something they could compartmentalise.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, Gray’s sister had reported him missing and his mother had sent an email from him to police in which he said he was in London, planning to murder a celebrity.
In his pocket Gray carried a photograph of Allen dressed in hospital scrubs at a Halloween party. He was convinced the costume was a message to him, as were sleeve notes on her album.
Allen continued: "For me, the burglary was like this insignificant thing compared to what he was doing to me and my life.
"After about a week, I went out as I was due to DJ at an event. I hadn’t had any contact from police, I presumed they were actively searching for him; it’s now apparent to me that wasn’t the case.
"When I arrived home, my handbag was on the bonnet of my car outside my house. Burnt. Everything pulled out and cut up or burned and the bag burned.”
Gray was subsequently caught and charged with burglary.
“Every time I tried to talk to someone about it, it was like hitting a brick wall. You feel very disconnected and that makes you disconnected to people around you, too. It’s difficult to articulate it when you have no definition, when the police are saying, ‘right, it’s burglary if you want this guy to get a prison sentence’, and you’re thinking, ‘but I don’t give a shit about my handbag. What I give a shit about is a man who is saying he wants to put a knife through my face’.
“I wrote to the police and asked why they weren’t using these letters going back to 2009, and then I got a short note saying they had been destroyed ‘according to police protocol’. No apology, no explanation.”
I’m very wary, I have trust issues. It impacts on your relationships, everything. I’m practically a hermit now!”
"I’m not angry at Alex Gray. He has a mental illness. The system has failed him. But until he gets the right treatment and the right help he needs, then I’m not safe.
"You can throw the book at him, put him in jail, but he’ll still be coming out. And the victim is never safe."
Watch Lily Allen's The Fear video below:
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