Saturday, 11 April 2009

Mail - laughing at people with mental illness

The Mail has run what appears to be an interview with actress Emily Lloyd today. Natalie Clarke's article begins:

A couple of weeks ago, Emily Lloyd was photographed walking her dog in the street where she lives. It was noted that she was wearing torn jeans and her hair was unkempt. An old mattress and bags of rubbish were strewn across the steps leading up to her flat in Hackney, East London - a million miles away from Hollywood. What, it was asked, had become of the one-time golden girl of British cinema.

The problem with this new story when it talks about what was 'noted' and 'asked' a few weeks was that is was the Mail doing the noting and asking. A insidious, mean-spirited piece of typical Mail bullying, it noted she emerged from a 'scruffly flat' (which they hadn't been inside, so how do they know?), with 'little sign of her trademark smile' (she was walking the dog) and 'traipsing up and down the streets of Hackney' (which is where she lives, so why wouldn't she be?)

The original hatchet job (sorry, story) did make mention of various mental health problems she has suffered over the years - which begs the question as to why picking on her for not smiling while walking her dog and wearing ripped jeans is any great help.

Clarke goes into greater depth about these problems in her interview, including revealing Lloyd has had chronic insomnia for two years. (She also mentions meeting her at a studio to do photos to accompany the article, yet there are none shown on the website).

And towards the end, Clarke writes:

She is bemused by reports she has been 'linked' to Pete Doherty. 'I've never met him in my life,' she says.

And where did those bemusing reports get repeated recently? Yes, the original Mail story:

In 2006 Emily was linked with singer Peter Doherty but since then has kept a distinctly low profile.

Let's just hope Ms Lloyd can get over her problems and get her life back on track. Photographers outside her flat and point-and-laugh articles such as the original are not going to help.

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