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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 September 2005, 10:28 GMT 11:28 UK
Transsexual to move to 'safer' LA
Lauren Harries and her brother Adam (photo courtesy Western Mail)
Lauren Harries and her brother, Adam, were attacked at home
A former child television star who had gender realignment surgery plans to move to Los Angeles after her family was attacked.

Lauren - formerly James - Harries and her family were attacked at their home in Cardiff, by a gang of youths.

A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and actual bodily harm at Cardiff Youth Court and is due to be sentenced soon.

Lauren added that she believes Los Angeles will be "safer".

Lauren found fame as child antiques dealer James Harries in the 1980s and 1990s.

People can't make a decision on what you are and can't accept you're a woman
Lauren Harries

He was interviewed by Terry Wogan as a 10-year-old in 1988 and went on to appear on television shows across the world.

In 2001, James underwent a sex change operation and became Lauren Harries.

The attack on the Harries family happened in July this year when eight youths broke into their home in the Rumney area.

Lauren's 63-year-old father Mark Harries was head-butted before Lauren and her brother Adam were attacked.

'Lot of problems'

The youth pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on Mark Harris and actual bodily harm on Adam Harries, but none of the other attackers have been traced.

Cardiff Youth Court heard that some of the youths shouted "tranny" during the attack.

Lauren told BBC Radio Wales on Tuesday that she believed her fame and the fact she had undergone a sex change were contributory factors in the gang attack.

James Harries (photo courtesy Western Mail)
Lauren found fame as child antiques dealer James Harries

She added: "That is why it happened because of what they said while they were beating us up.

"We do get a lot of problems because of my sexuality and that was one of the issues."

Asked whether being a transsexual in Cardiff was difficult, Lauren replied "I think so, yes" adding that being well-known added to the problem.

She said: "The young people today don't understand and then they lash out at things. You have to feel sorry for them.

"People can't make a decision on what you are and can't accept you're a woman.

"A lot of men feel shocked by it. If you talk to them, you are going to get attacked. It's best to say nothing at all."

Lauren added that she did not regret having a sex change but said the process had been difficult for her family. She has decided to move to Los Angeles in the new year and said she believes the Californian city will provide a safer environment than Cardiff.

"It's hot and sunny and I just feel I want to go somewhere where I'll be safer," she added.


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