The mother of Madeleine McCann today said the press coverage of her daughter's disappearance was so negative that it damaged the search for the three-year-old.
Kate McCann told the Leveson inquiry into press standards: "When a story is so negative about her that is not helpful.
"These were desperate times. We needed all the help we could get. We desperately wanted to shout out, 'It's not true it's not true'. We were desperate.
"We were trying to find our daughter and you were stopping our chances of finding her."
Mrs McCann and her husband Gerry, both 43, recalled how they were subjected to what Mr McCann called an "incredible amount of speculation and misinformation that led to confusion" after Maddy disappeared in May 2007 during a family holiday in Portugal.