Rising star Keira Knightley has shocked her old school with her claims she was bullied for being dyslexic during her days there.

Teachers at the TEDDINGTON SCHOOL in Middlesex, England, are surprised the 19-year-old Bend It Like Beckham actress recalls her childhood with such disdain.

Headmaster RICHARD WEEKS says, "It's disappointing to hear she feels she had a hard time here. That's not the Keira I knew of."

In a recent interview to promote her latest film King Arthur, Knightley revealed, "I certainly wasn't one of the popular people. The dyslexia didn't help. But it's amazing what a child calling you stupid would do to make you read pretty quickly. I wasn't happy in school."

Weeks continues, "Everyone at the school liked Keira and I thought she liked everyone here. She was a gifted pupil academically. She was almost our highest achieving student.

"As far as I knew there was never any question of her having dyslexia - it was never mentioned to me by any of the teachers.

"She was a very down-to-earth normal pupil and she was completely accepted by other people here. I heard suggestions before that we let her down and I really don't know where this has come from - I'm mystified."

Knightley admits she still has problems with her dyslexia through her writing, but claims her reading is "kinda fine".

04/05/2004 13:48