Press ‘hounded’ Rio Ferdinand’s ex

The ex-girlfriend of footballer Rio Ferdinand sobbed as she told the British High Court that the hacking of her voicemails had left her feeling “hounded” by the press.

Lauren Alcorn, a flight attendant, told Mr Justice Mann at the hearing to decide the amount of compensation to be awarded in eight representative cases brought against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), that she was 19 when she started going out with Ferdinand.

Alcorn, who complains about five articles — three of which are admitted to be the product of phone-hacking —said she was “completely shocked and disgusted” by the illegal activities at MGN, which carried on in her case from 2002 until 2006.

She said Ferdinand, who she was seeing secretly as he also had a long-term lover, became increasingly suspicious that she was revealing intimate details of their “pretty intense” relationship to the press. She said she met Ferdinand in December 2000.

“I have never wanted any publicity and see myself as a private individual, although I was eventually forced into the public eye because of what happened,” she said.

Other cases to be decided in the litigation involve actress Sadie Frost, ex-footballer Paul Gascoigne, and soap stars Shobna Gulati and Shane Richie.

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