This past week has been hell. It’s like I am living in some alternate dimension where nothing seems real, and I am stuck in a kind of nightmare.
Let’s forget for a moment that I have had to deal with my entire family knowing that I write an explicit personal sex diary; the contents of this, publicly thrust into their faces. Let’s cast aside the knowledge that all my friends are now aware of the most intimate details of my sex life. Let us ignore the many phone calls I have had from work colleagues; their divulging that the erotic content of my life is now primary gossip on the film set.
Let us put that to one side, so that the personal reality of my current situation is made absolutely clear: I have been in hiding for the last seven days, scared to go out, because I don’t want to be confronted by the journalists pursuing me or have more ‘paparazzi’ shots taken, like that secret, hidden, shot of me last week. This isn’t just my paranoia speaking: photographers have been camped outside my home, and also my parents’ home, ever since that despicable article which named me was printed.
Journalists have also been contacting people from my past – even the vaguest acquaintances of mine - and offering them money to talk about me, or provide photographs of me. I have not known how to deal with any of this new, odd, unwanted ‘celebrity’-type interest in my life: I’ve had no guidance to assist me. All I’ve felt I can do, is apologise to everyone potentially affected – my family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, lovers – for any intrusion into their lives. Needless to say, I’m not sleeping very well right now.
Whilst I am still completely stunned that anyone would find me or my life remotely interesting, with this incomprehensible, yet continued, media attention, I’ve had to grudgingly accept that it looks like some more stories about me might be printed: ones that perhaps I will be just as unhappy with, as the exposé that ‘outed’ me. I had hoped that things would have settled by now, and that I could continue my life without any more invasions of my and others’ privacy, but sadly this is not the case.
Because of this media focus, I have decided to deal with the situation face on: it’s just not possible for me to sit indoors hidden away for ever. So I have done an interview with The Guardian newspaper
, published today. It was an odd and slightly scary experience all round: going outside for the first time in a week; having a journalist ask me probing questions; posing for a photographer - all very surreal. (If you want to see the pictures that go alongside the article, you’ll have to buy the paper).
I am hoping, perhaps naїvely, that the Guardian interview might counteract potentially derogatory pieces run by other newspapers, or, at least, that these papers might get bored of harassing me, and move on to ‘proper’ news, say perhaps, the Middle East, Iraq, or the UK Government’s foreign policy. Well, I can but hope.
I really have no interest in being in the public eye at all, so if you do spot my presence anywhere in the media, please know that it will be, most likely, a fictional piece written by an antagonistic journalist, and not printed with either my support, or my participation. So unless I announce an article here, and state explicitly
that I had input in it, you can take it as read that it was written without any consent on my part; please don’t believe that what might be printed about me is related to ‘truth’ of any kind.
Speaking of which, as I’m regularly being asked questions about the veracity in my writing, I would like to clarify, that in the book, for reasons of privacy, I fictionalised my job title; I’m not actually anything to do with camera at all (fine department though it is). Also, on both the blog and book, I have disguised people’s identities in various ways, so as to ensure that their right to privacy was upheld. Take it as given, that names, dates, locations, backgrounds and careers have been altered, mixed-up and combined, to protect this.
On a positive note, my family and friends have been amazing: rallying around me, sending me messages of support and love. And I have been overwhelmed by the response on the internet too: words cannot describe how moved I have been by all the hundreds of comments and emails I have been receiving - thank you. Though I have not had time to respond to them personally, I have
read every single one, and I am grateful for them all. I’ve also been chuffed that almost no-one has used my real name in these communications - it reinforces the hypocrisy of the newspaper exposé of me: in no way was it in the public interest to name me.
I’m really stunned by all the support in the blogging community; I’m so indebted to the many bloggers who have come to my defence on their own blogs
. Having so much support has provided me with a hopeful spark of light in these current dark times, so I want to show my appreciation to each and every one of you for backing me up about my unhappiness of having my real identity exposed – thank you.