Date: 10th May 2013

Cumberbatch's brush with death

Benedict Cumberbatch has told how he feared for his life when he was the victim of a carjacking in South Africa.

The star of Sherlock and Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) recalled to the Daily Mirror his terrifying ordeal while filming BBC series To The Ends Of The Earth in 2005 in South Africa. A tyre on their car blew and as they tried to change it at night they were ambushed by six armed men.

Benedict revealed: "They frisked each of us for weapons and valuables then bundled us back into the car and drove us into the bush. The car stopped and we were hauled out and told to kneel with our hands on our heads. We were in the execution position with a duvet over our heads to silence the shots.

They ordered me to stand up and get into the boot. The lid opened and I found myself calmly lying that I was claustrophobic and I could panic and die and be a problem for them. 'Dead body in a boot, problem, not good!'

"They took me up a small hill away from the others, made me kneel and tied my hands behind my back with laces from the trainers they'd removed earlier."

"I heard, 'We are not going to hurt you but make one mistake and we will kill you. Lie on the ground'."

After three hours shivering face down on the ground, the petrified victims ran for help and called the police.

Benedict added: "I've still got a scar where I was tied up. It was terrifying. The next morning I woke up as a free man with the sun on my face and I cried. I thought I'd never feel its warmth again."

Source: Press Release