Part I – Ben Ellery and Caroline Gidman of the Sunday Times – Being bullied by a spiteful racist rich white woman and media revenge for speaking out about abuse

by Sufiah Yusof, 2021

I recently received an e-mail from Ben Ellery of the Times.

(note: someone messaged me to correctly point out that he’s actually been a sleazy Mail on Sunday journalist for most of his career. Actually the Times is also fairly sleazy – Murdoch likes to turn “news” into manipulative tales of abuse and female trauma and gossip).

This caused me a great deal of distress.

Although I try to have a robust blogging voice, I will always carry the serious trauma of media abuse with me.

From the Mail editor Paul Dacre regularly printing photos of me as a little girl, and then getting readers to write in to mock and discuss what a freak I was – it only got worse.

Every move I made and every detail of my life was turned into a horrendous “global reality show” by a team of bullies.

Even worse – the rabid efforts of the media to claim I “wanted publicity” and was “volunteering to talk to them” so I would be ashamed, isolated and unable to get any legal or police help against their horrific harassment.

This post, unfortunately, is my attempt to create a paper trail protect myself against further harassment.

One doesn’t speak out against tabloid bullies and walk away scot-free.

Ben Ellery asked me to ”talk about my experiences with Martin Bashir”.

This was linked to me tweeting about Bashir’s evil manipulative tactics, and Ben Ellery clearly thought I could be manipulated into giving an interview.

This is nonsense – if I had the time and inclination to engage with the situation, clearly the most sensible thing would be to contact Earl Spencer’s lawyers and make a formal statement.

This would preserve my dignity, protect my mental health and be done in a respectful way and avoid me being drawn into any aggressive confrontations.

Ben Ellery is an intelligent and cunning journalist and would have known this.  

Further, if he was sincere about giving me a voice and acting to support me, he could just have linked to my own tweets, or asked me to answer plain factual questions about Bashir’s tactics only.

So what did Ben want?

Pretending to be my friend, he wanted to lure me to personally to “talk” and “share my story”.

He wanted “access”.

He wanted to exploit my distress and trauma and vulnerability over Martin Bashir’s evil to grant him an interview where Ben Ellery and his Murdoch editors would have control of the content.

– Ben Ellery wanted details of my life in order to “doxx” me and get me to talk about myself. This would be written up as if I was “publicity hungry” and “wanted to share details of my life with an audience.“. There is very little new I could add to the Bashir story – I would be the target myself and the story would be written up as “Prodigy vs family – all personal details of her life included for any stalkers out there!”

– Ben Ellery would contact any estranged family members I had and act like their friend and say I was planning to publicly talk about them and did they want to give “their side of the story”. He would then write it up as an engineered confrontation situation themed “prodigy trauma family at war” (when there has been no confrontation apart from the one he and his evil manipulations created).

-Ben Ellery would have used the considerable resources of the Times to track down anyone connected to my partner, workplace, study place, friends and asked them to “comment” and give more of my details than I had consented to. Ideally any personal trustworthy relationships I had would be destroyed.

– Ben Ellery would have demanded I comment on Oxford University (a place I had and now have had absolutely no substantial connection with – but this would generate clicks and attention) and write it up “as if I was bragging or gossiping or sharing details about my Oxford connection”.

– Anything would do, as long as my photo and enough personal details to doxx me and enable people to stalk me and (alleged) consent was with it.

– Ben Ellery would (of course) have made sure that he got some comment in on my consensual sex life ten years ago. Again, this would be written as me wanting to share my details with the public, so when Murdoch journalists stalked me again “it would all be my fault”.

(as someone working privately in the sex industry – I was very publicly “slut-shamed”- paid money to strip and dance naked for his creepy Murdoch News of the World colleague Keith Gladdis to secretly film and blackmail me).

– Perhaps Ben would use his well-paid team of private investigators to track down every member of my partners family to ask for their opinion to raise conflict.

Media bullies like to target vulnerable people.

The Times team would (as they have always done) prioritise tracking down and stalking my family members to cause maximum abuse and distress and conflict.

(Ben wouldn’t “do the dirty work himself” to keep his hands clean but might assign a female reporter, say).

Sadly my mother lacks mental capability for informed consent – she self-harms, has been in an abusive relationship with someone also lacking mental capacity for 40 years, has no social support structure.

This lack of capacity is very apparent to anyone communicating with her.

This vulnerability, of course, was a great situation for the cowardly bullies of the media wanting to destroy me.

The media pretended to befriend her, then demanded she gave them my personal photos (the Guardian), and took unflattering photographs of her underage children to run alongside horrendous racist articles (the Daily Mail, who else?).

Like many children of toxic abusive families, as a young woman the best thing for me was to detach from the situation and go no contact. This was (and is) an excellent decision.

However, I have never chosen of my own free will to speak about family trauma and abuse. As I know that is invading my own privacy, a vehicle for titillation and ‘misery lit’ for newspapers and would turn me into a target for predators.  

Even when in foster care I experienced serious racism and bullying by my foster carers (middle aged white Mail readers earning £800 a month to have me live with them) I certain didn’t choose to “make it public”

Like many sensible people I knew the amount of mental distress it would cost to get involved.

I just did, and do want to get on with life and other people to get on with theirs (despite knowing I could earn a lot from “selling my story”).

However, Ben and his bullying colleagues were (and are) not happy with me trying to privately get on with the struggles of life. Even after the horror of what they did to me before, it is still not enough for them.

The Times team would locate my mentally vulnerable mother, talk her into self-harming, report details of what I was doing, to goad her into distress. They would harass an older woman with a hard life to engineer and generate a confrontation –

“Sufiah vs her family: they both choose to speak out against each other.”

Ben Ellery would lead a so-called “news team” which would urge a mentally vulnerable woman to ‘confide in them’ and graphically describe her distress for an article, find as many details to humiliate her.

This is “successful fast-paced news” in the Daily Mail and BBC and Murdoch world.

And then ask me “what I thought about it” and if I wanted to comment, or if I “felt guilty and wanted to have a public confrontation/reunion filmed by the Times to save her as everyone would judge me if I didn’t”.

The evil purpose of Ben Ellery and his team would be total domination and control, and to cause maximum trauma and distress.

As a youngish woman of Asian origin who had the confidence (probably the foolishness!) to speak out against their bullying tactics, Ben and his hugely well-resourced team at the Sunday Times (plus others – Murdoch journalists shift around so its easier to hide and not be accountable) wanted to trap me and mentally destroy and torment me.

Although wanting to present a respectable front and claiming he wanted to “give me a voice on Martin Bashir”, MY life and every painful personal detail would be made the centre piece.

Ben Ellery wanted to turn to turn me (again) into a public figure of fun/hatred and my mental health ruined.

– It would be claimed I had “decided to talk” about myself and chosen to speak out and give my own details. I have no doubt that Martin Bashir would be barely mentioned in the story.

– I would be “doxxed” by having my details published.

– The media operates like the Stasi and keeps files on everyone it targets. These files would be shared around and released when it wants to target people.

– My details would be passed onto any other journalists looking to stalk and abuse me to create a “feeding frenzy” of articles.

This is clearly spiteful revenge against me for speaking up against the media.

Even with zero resources, an amateur blog, and no back-up and just speaking my truth, they want any critics silenced.

….Part 2 on next page