Lily Allen has opened up about her relationship with the press, saying that fame once “became an addiction in itself”.
During a recent interview with the New York Times, the singer-songwriter and actor questioned why she had agreed to speak to the publication when such situations often lead to “criticism”.
Allen, who hypothesised that an element of narcissism could be at play, explained: “It’s been my life since I was like 18 years old.”
Having struggled with binge drinking and drug abuse in the past, the ‘Smile’ star has now been sober for over four years.
“From 18 to about four or five years ago just feels like a bit of a haze, because I was literally just off my face the whole time,” Allen told the NYT.
“I was using fame as well — that was an addiction in itself: the attention and the paparazzi and the chaos.”
During the early days of her music career, Allen explained that she had an “addictive personality”, but said she “[didn’t] want to be hanging over a toilet seat snorting coke when I’m 50”.
Allen spoke candidly about her sobriety back in March, saying that her life had “changed so much” in recent years.
The artist obtained a court order to stop paparazzi following her around London in 2009, per the Guardian. “It’s not a very nice feeling,” Allen told the NYT, remembering the level of attention she used to get. “Especially when you’re in your early 20s, and you’re still trying to figure out who you are in the world.”
In 2018, she hit out at tabloid journalists who had criticised her for voicing her opinion on social and political issues.
Allen last month claimed that she had previously faced “bullying and constant surveillance” from broadcaster and journalist Dan Wootton, who has worked for The Sun, the News Of The World and the Mail Online.
She tweeted a front page cover of The Sun from 2015, which included an image of a reportedly unconscious Allen at Glastonbury Festival. The headline to Wootton’s story read: “Wasted”.
Allen also mentioned Peaches Geldof, Amy Winehouse and Caroline Flack, claiming that they “were all bullied and abused, subjected to the same kind of harassment that I and many others were, and at the same time”.
She continued: “It was the culture back then, we were fair game, because we were female, young, articulate, well paid, brilliant at our jobs, vulnerable and relatable, we all wore our hearts on our sleeves and spoke our truths.”
Earlier this year, Allen revealed that she had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).