Sienna Miller reflects on having pregnancy leaked at 23 years old: ‘It removed any ability I had to think clearly about making a decision’

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 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Sienna Miller has opened up about life in the spotlight, and the “horrible” trauma she experienced when her pregnancy was leaked to the press at just 23 years old.

In the series Anatomy of a Scandal, Miller plays Sophie — the wife of Tory MP James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), who is accused of sexual assault by his parliamentary aide Olivia (Naomi Scott). In an interview with The Guardian, Miller explains that the role was unattractive to her at first. Now, she recognises how the Netflix show’s theme of consent parallels her own life.

In December 2021, Miller won “substantial damages” in her lawsuit against The Sun’s newspaper publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), which claimed that the publication obtained medical records of her pregnancy through illegal means. NGN denied that any illegal information-gathering took place at The Sun and agreed to settle her case for damages without any admission of liability.

News of Miller’s pregnancy leaked in 2005 when the actress was just 23 years old and dating her Alfie co-star, Jude Law. The former couple dated for two years before getting engaged on Christmas Day in 2004. Weeks before news broke of Miller’s pregnancy, the pair split after a very public scandal revealed Law had cheated on fiancée Miller with his children’s nanny, Daisy Wright. Miller, who was then starring in a London production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, called the experience: “Hell, honestly.”

The 40-year-old actress is now a mother to daughter Marlowe Ottoline, 9, whom she shares with ex Tom Sturridge.

Miller ultimately decided not to follow through with the pregnancy, but she claimed that the “anxiety” of the invasion of privacy, combined with heartbreak from her breakup with Law, “removed” any decision-making power she had.

“Horrible,” she said to The Guardian about the pregnancy leak. “The anxiety it induced. At the time, it removed any ability I had to think clearly about making a decision. I was in an absolute panic, and already dealing with a huge amount of pain.”

“But it was just so toxic,” Miller added. “Those days – the frenzy of it, the madness of what women, specifically, were subjected to. I actually look back at it and it’s like a weird film. Another universe.”

Upon learning that her pregnancy had been leaked, Miller originally thought one of her three best friends betrayed her trust and disclosed the news to the tabloid. However, Miller claimed that an unusual phone call from her doctor led her to believe her medical records had been tampered with.

“My doctor phoned and said, ‘We sent the documents you asked for.’ And I said, ‘I didn’t ask for any documents,” she recalled.

Speaking outside the court in London last December, after Miller felt “fully vindicated” in her lawsuit against The Sun, the actress said in a prepared statement:

“It was not my choice to be standing here, I wanted to go to trial. I wanted to expose the criminality that runs through the heart of this corporation. A criminality demonstrated clearly and irrevocably by the evidence which I have seen. I wanted to share News Group’s secrets just as they have shared mine.”

She added: “Unfortunately that legal recourse is not available to me or to anyone who does not have countless millions of pounds to spend on the pursuit of justice.

“Such is our world. Until someone comes along who can confront the Murdochs’ endless means, all that I have left are these words. And they are the truth.”

NGN’s lawyers objected to some parts of the statement, which they said created a “misleading and unfair” impression of the nature of the settlement.

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