Actress Sienna Miller launched an emotional attack on “titillating” press reports of her relationship with Bond actor Daniel Craig, as she revealed to the hacking trial that it was “a very brief encounter”.
Judge Mr Justice Saunders apologised to the Factory Girl star for any distress caused by the media interest thrown up during the trial of seven defendants including former News of the World (NotW) editor Andy Coulson.
Miller, giving evidence via videolink from the US, was asked about a message she left for Craig, allegedly intercepted by NotW, saying: “Hi. It’s me. Can’t speak. I’m at the Groucho with Jude [Law]. I love you.”
Sitting in a book-lined room next to an FBI agent, she told the Old Bailey: “Yes, I had always ended my phone calls to Daniel ‘I love you’. It was a declaration of friendship.”
She went on: “This is a very difficult and uncomfortable period of my life to discuss. To be gossiped about and analysed and vilified. Whether or not I was in a relationship with Daniel Craig at the time, it was a very brief encounter. He was my best friend. My saying I love you was nothing new.
“It has been turned into a titillating piece of information. It was at a time when we had been briefly involved.”
Thanking her for giving evidence, Mr Justice Saunders said: “I am very sorry [that] what has gone on in this court and [been] reported in the press has caused you distress.”
NotW ran a story about her alleged affair with Craig in 2005 while she was in a relationship with his friend, fellow actor Law, the court has heard.
One of the paper’s reporters, Daniel Evans, claims part of the story was sourced from hacking Craig’s phone. Speaking in a clear, confident voice, Miller said the message was not an “important declaration of love”.
There was laughter when defence lawyer Timothy Langdale QC asked Miller about the message to Craig which ended “I love you”. She joked: “You just told me you love me and I interrupted you.”
The court heard Evans claimed to hear Miller crying in a message to former stepmother Kelly Hoppen which he hacked. Miller said: “It’s a difficult time to remember. I was crying a lot at the time.
“But I do not think I would have been crying in a message to Kelly Hoppen, no.”
There was more laughter as Miller struggled to remember the date of her sister Savannah’s wedding. She joked: “This is a terrible test.”
She was also stopped by the judge from going into too much detail about her personal appearance, again sparking laughter in court.
When asked about the origin of press gossip, Miller said: “I do not remember losing half a stone in weight; I do not remember complaining I was flat-chested; I always bite my nails.”
Miller said she was not aware anyone associated with her or boyfriend Law was communicating with NotW in 2005.
When asked about her relationship with the media by Mr Langdale, for ex-government spin doctor and editor Andy Coulson, she said: “It was part of my job to communicate with the media and, yes, I had some negative experiences.”
She said she pleaded with a NotW journalist to ease off Law at a pre-Baftas party, asking him to “give Jude a break”. “I appealed to his better nature and this was then abused. I probably said, ‘He’s one of the nicest, kindest people I know and you are misrepresenting him, please stop’.”
When asked if she had courted publicity, she said: “Absolutely never, not once. Never, ever.”
Coulson, 46, denies conspiring to hack phones and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office. Seven defendants, including former Sun and NotW editor Rebekah Brooks, deny the charges against them.