[blogs] A Blackmailing Email Sent By Nicholas Hellen of the Sunday Times — Girl With a One Track Mind publishes an email sent by the Acting News Editor at the Sunday Times just before they revealed her identity – essentially a blackmail attempt to get her to acquiesce to a photo shoot … ‘We also have a picture of you, taken outside your flat. Unfortunately, the picture is not particularly flattering and might undermine the image that has been built up around your persona as Abby Lee. I think it would be helpful to both sides if you agreed to a photo shoot today so that we can publish a more attractive image.’

A Blackmailing Email Sent By Nicholas Hellen of the Sunday Times

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007 at 6:56 pm and is filed under Blogs.

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The whole photoshoot thing was total blackmail: they said to me, “if you agree to the photoshoot, then we’ll let you tell your side of the story”. Added to which, they printed off copies of the pap shots of me, put them through my letterbox, as well as emailing them to me, and then bombarded me with phonecalls and emails saying, “Look at these awful pictures! Do our photoshoot and you can present the image that you want”.

They were bargaining on my vanity – they were REALLY bad pictures – but I bit my lip and did not reply. As a result, the pictures they printed of me had to have my face disguised, because I had never communicated with them – so legally they were not able to confirm who the person in the pictures actually was.

There’s a lesson in this to be learned for anyone who is either –

a) an anonymous writer, or
b) gets harassed by the media

– stay strong, stand your ground, and ignore them. They may not, as in my case, go away, but at least when the time comes to say your piece, it’ll be done on YOUR terms, rather than on the terms of some arsehole hack who’s out for a quick ‘story’.

This is indeed exactly the blackmailer equation – “We have X on you, give us Y or we go public.” Just that instead of “We have the pictures, give us money or we’ll tell your wife,” it’s “We have your name, give us cooperation, or we tell the public.” Same thing. Hellen couldn’t have been clearer if he pasted it together from letters cut out from the headlines of his scummy rag.

Hellen has commented on the matter here: Bloggers Bite Back at ‘Bullying’ Hack

Personally, I think this thing is a little bit out of control. Journalists are often so self-important that I’m not at all surprised. I can’t see why anyone would fall for the ruse of agreeing to be photographed for that kind of story!

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