For Sienna Miller, there's more than a month of memories she can't remember from performing in As You Like It back in 2005.
That's because she was simultaneously facing, in her words, "public heartbreak" at the "height of all that paparazzi madness." Fifteen years ago in July 2005, the actress was performing in a West End production of the William Shakespeare play—her first—when she was on the receiving end of an infamous public apology from her then-fiancé Jude Law.
"Following the reports in today's papers, I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us," the actor said in a statement at the time, following the breaking news that he had cheated with his children's nanny. "I want to publicly apologize to Sienna and our respective families for the pain that I have caused."
Meanwhile, Miller, then just five films into her career, had many more weeks of performances to forge through. "That was one of the most challenging moments I hope I'll ever have to experience. Because with that level of public heartbreak, to have to get out of a bed let alone stand in front of 800 people every night, it's just the last thing you want to do," she told The Daily Beast in a newly published interview. "It was really hard. And the other thing was, it was at the height of all that paparazzi madness, and in London where there was an epidemic of bad behavior. They knew where I would be every night."
Don't ask her for details from that time because she can't recall many. "There's a whole six weeks of that experience that I don't remember. I have no recollection of it," she shared with the website. "People who came to see me said we had dinner, and I don't remember. I was in so much shock over it all. And I'd really just begun. I was only 23. But if you get through that, you feel like you can get through anything."
In the mix of performances and the public revelation of Law's infidelity, Miller also had to face a frenzy of ceaseless press attention.
"There were moments where it came close to making me really feel crazy, and it was incredibly aggressive," she recalled. "The way I managed it was to get really litigious, start suing. I secretly recorded paparazzi on a lighter that was a camera, and got a privacy act taken to a high court to get the law changed in England, which essentially means that if I'm anywhere or coming out of anywhere where I can expect privacy they're not allowed to take my photo."
All these years later, one thing Miller hasn't forgotten is how all-consuming the entire ordeal was. "It was a long battle, and I think I was really paranoid," she told The Daily Beast. "There was so much noise that it was hard to think straight and focus on my work, which I always took very seriously. It ate everything else. I look back on it and wonder how I did get through it—but I did."
While she survived that era, in the end, the stars' relationship ultimately did not. After splitting in 2006, the two were back together in 2009 only to separate for good in 2011.