Lily Allen: ‘I was pretty brazen with all my behaviour. I just didn’t care’

Fame, family, failure, being stalked, getting low, getting high: nothing is off limits in the musician’s new memoir. She explains why

The old house in the countryside that Lily Allen bought, after several years of fame, was at the end of a long, private track. Hugged by the land, in its own little Cotswolds valley, it felt to her “like the end of the line”, a safe place for her and fiance Sam Cooper to retreat from the chaos of the music industry and start a family. She chose the paint colours with care, hung beautiful art on the walls and invited US Vogue inside for a photoshoot, with its reporter describing it as somewhere that Mrs Tiggy-Winkle might have lived. It was also the house that Allen would one day walk out of, into what she now describes as “torrential, biblical rain”, to take off all her clothes, lie naked on the ground and howl. Her baby son, George, had died just weeks previously, while she was giving birth to him six months into her pregnancy. “I don’t even know where that came from, I just found myself there – outside,” she says quietly, remembering that day. “Despair,” she murmurs. “It was horrendous.”

Why bring this up now? Well, because Allen is about to publish a memoir, My Thoughts Exactly, and if it seems things can’t get any worse than weeping into the elements in the wake of her son’s death, they do. It is an unflinching, unputdownable book – unless you’re Allen’s mother, the film producer Alison Owen, who had to take a long break halfway through reading it. (Both Allen’s parents come out of it quite badly – her father, comedian Keith Allen, more so.) Already, some of the details have leaked to tabloids: Allen’s confession of sleeping with Liam Gallagher when he was married to Nicole Appleton, for one. Allen’s allegation of sexual assault against an unnamed record industry executive, for another. And then there are the times when Allen was lost and lonely and paid a woman to have sex with her, while her husband and children were on the other side of the world.

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