LONDON -- The feminist writer and academic Germaine Greer announced plans Monday to sue a journalist who impersonated a homeless man to gain access to her house in Essex, east England.
The reporter posed as a down-and-out after newspapers suggested that Greer was opening her house to the homeless.
The reports followed an article written by Greer that appeared in The Big Issue -- the newspaper sold by the homeless -- in which she said she was willing to share her house with anyone who was willing to accept her house rules.
Greer said her country house in Saffron Walden, Essex, was besieged by photographers and reporters posing as homeless people, and low-flying aircraft after the article appeared.
The journalist who gained entry to her home, Martin Hennessy, spent two days living with Greer and wrote an article for the Mail on Sunday newspaper that appeared across three pages.
Greer said the article was a gross invasion of privacy, and she was examining the laws of trespass and misrepresentation to prepare a writ.
'The writ will be issued against Martin Hennessey because the paper would pay it without batting an eyelid,' Greer told The Guardian newspaper. 'He definitely lied and cheated his way into my house and exploited my kindness and tolerance.'
She said she also planned to lodge a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission Monday against the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Telegraph, which printed her address, and The Guardian, which wrote a news report on the story.
Greer said her article in The Big Issue was never intended as an open invitation to the homeless and that it had been malicious for newspapers to interpret it that way.
In her regular column in The Guardian, Greer said she was immediately suspicious of Hennessey when he arrived at her door with crutches and a bedroll, but she still took him in, believing he was mad.
'He smelt overwhelmingly of stale sweat and tobacco,' Greer wrote.
When Hennessey left her home, he left $30 and a note of thanks.