Elizabeth Hurley has her heart focused on one particular passion right now: safety for all, whether on the streets of London or in the wilds of Africa. In mid-March, the actress’s beloved 21-year-old nephew, Miles Hurley – an aspiring model whose mom is Elizabeth’s older sister, Kate – was left fighting for his life after being repeatedly stabbed in a shocking road-rage attack in London. The star of The Royals was in the U.S. when she learned of the assault and immediately dashed home to be by his hospital bedside.
“It was a very brutal attack that luckily missed any vital organs,” the shaken 52-year-old model, swimwear designer and philanthropist told Hello! in her first interview since the terrifying incident. “We are very hopeful that Miles will make a full recovery with time. He is very lucky he’s not paralyzed.”
Elizabeth – whose 16-year-old son, Damian, is close with his cousin – has been playing nurse while also promoting her new film, Phoenix Wilder and the Great Elephant Adventure, the touching tale of a lost orphan boy who teams up with a giant elephant to take down a syndicate of poachers. The ambassador for the Giants Club that’s committed to saving African elephants plays the young lad’s aunt. The film is set for release in Canada on Apr. 22, coinciding with the announcement of tougher laws that ban the sale of ivory in the U.K.
“It was very clear to see that Elizabeth loves wildlife and is very passionate about elephant conservation as well as being the most generous and pleasant person to work with,” the film’s writer, director and producer, Richard Boddington, told Hello! “She is one of the few stars that truly puts her actions where her words are.”
For now, of course, Miles is her main priority.
“I was the first person my nephew called, because he knew if he called his mother she’d leap into her car and career up the motorway to him and he was scared she’d have a crash,” she recalled. “Even when he was almost unconscious on a stretcher, he thought of others before himself. He’s a great kid and I couldn’t love him more.”
Miles has been recovering at Elizabeth’s home in England and is making great progress as family care for him. In the meantime, his aunt has become extremely vocal about finding his attackers and lobbying for safer streets and tougher penalties for criminals.
“If you think you know who the attackers are, please call the police,” Elizabeth pleaded. “I’d love to say thank you personally to anyone who can help.”
Read the full interview with Elizabeth in the latest issue of Hello! Canada magazine, out now!