Allen's stalker managed to enter her bedroom last October and has now been convicted
Lily Allen has spoken publicly for the first time about being harassed by a stalker for the last seven years.
Alex Gray, a man in his early twenties from Perth in Scotland, began his harassment of the singer in 2009 by setting up a Twitter account called @lilyallenRIP and claiming he had written her Number One single ‘The Fear’.
He then began leaving abusive letters at her flat, record company and a shop belonging to her sister, Allen recalled in an exclusive interview with The Observer.
“It was freaking me out a bit and I’m not easily scared, so the fact I went to the police with the letters shows how serious I felt it was. Alarm bells were ringing. But I felt comforted by the fact that I was telling the police, I was keeping a record,” Allen explained.
The harassment culminated in an incident last October in which Gray managed to enter Allen’s house and bedroom and proceeded to steal her handbag.
“I sat up and looked and the door handle was twisting round,” Allen recalled. “This guy 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 said she believes Gray was carrying a knife, and explained that a friend was then able to vacate him from the property while she checked on her children’s wellbeing.
Arriving home after DJing at an event the following week, Allen found that her missing handbag had been returned. “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,” she recalled.
Gray was convicted earlier this month (April) at Harrow Crown Court of burglary and harassment and will be sentenced in May.
“It has affected how I live my life. I’m very wary, I have trust issues,” Allen said of her ordeal. “It impacts on your relationships, everything. I’m practically a hermit now. I’m very aware of trying not to overdramatise what’s happened, I’m aware that some fears are irrational; I know he is in prison. If I hear a bang, every little noise makes me start. I see his face in people in the street.”
During the interview Allen also criticised the police for the way they handled her case, saying: “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.”
She continued: “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.”
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“I want some answers from the police,” Allen added. “I’m a famous person and had the inclination to push things. If they treat me like this, how the hell are they going to treat someone else without those resources, without clout?”