An actress from Midlothian who wrote a memoir about a “nightmare” trip to Zambia has been accused of making up lies by the country’s people.
Louise Linton, who has filmed alongside Tom Cruise and Robert Redford, published a book earlier this year detailing her time in the African nation in 1999 as an 18-year-old volunteer.
The former Fettes College pupil from Lasswade described how her “dream gap year” turned into a “nightmare” when she had to flee armed rebels from the nearby Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
But since an extract of the book was published online, angry Zambians have taken to social media to claim that her story is untrue.
In the book she writes: “I had come to Africa with hopes of helping some of the world’s poorest people. But my gap year had become a living nightmare when I inadvertently found myself caught up in the fringes of the Congolese War.
“Life was idyllic at first, a gap year student’s dream. My new home was beautiful and I made close friendships with the local Bemba people. But I soon learned that Africa is rife with hidden danger.
“I witnessed random acts of violence, contracted malaria and had close encounters with lions, elephants, crocodiles and snakes.”
Now Zambians have questioned Louise’s account of their country and the hashtag #LintonLies has started trending on social media.
They say her description of the environment, which includes a “jungle canopy” and monsoons, is incorrect, and that the conflict in the DRC did not adversely affect life in their communities.
Bornface wrote on Twitter: “Zambia in 1999 according to #LintonLies – monsoons, civil war, rebels, jungles. I’ve been in the wrong Zambia all my life.”
Tchiyiwe T Chihana posted: “Own up and admit you are peddling untruths in order to sell your book about Zambia.”
The book, which is sold on Amazon, has also seen its rating drop dramatically.
Several new one-star reviews have been added to the site, mostly claiming the memoir is “complete fiction” and “lies”.
MoiZam’s review claims he knows the owners of the lodges Ms Linton stayed at during her time at Lake Tanganyika and insists her story is false.
The actress, who now lives in Los Angeles, responded on her Twitter page. She wrote: “I am genuinely dismayed and very sorry to see that I have offended people as this was the very opposite of my intent.
“I wrote with the hope of conveying my deep humility, respect and appreciation for the people of Zambia as an 18-year-old in 1999. I wrote about the country’s incredible beauty and my immense gratitude for the experiences I had there.”