In a new article in The Guardian, singer Lily Allen details her harrowing experience dealing with a violent stalker and the police’s apparent failure to support her as a victim. “I’m a famous person and had the inclination to push things,” she says. “If they treat me like this, how the hell are they going to treat someone else without those resources, without clout?”
For the past several years, Allen has been continually harassed by a man named Alex Gray. She has repeatedly reported him to the police and, though they’ve identified Gray, they regularly refused to share pertinent information with her—even denying her the right to see what he looked like.
Last October, a man broke into Allen’s home and attacked her in her bedroom:
The police told Allen the intruder was probably someone who had stumbled into the wrong flat after too much to drink. “For me, it was too much of a coincidence that the only night I had left the shutters up, this man came in. I believe he had been spending a lot of time out there in my garden, watching.”
Calling the police back the next day, Allen told them she thought the intruder could be the same man who had been threatening her. “But they were uncomfortable with the idea. Then I realised my handbag was missing and the change in atmosphere was palpable, it was like a sigh of relief: ‘now it’s burglary – we understand that’.”
When Gray was eventually caught, he was charged with burglary. A harassment charge was added later. He’s since been convicted, though is waiting on sentencing.
Still, Allen says:
“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’m not angry at Alex Gray,” Allen graciously concludes. “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.”
Girl, you look nuts here.
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Image via Getty.