My wife Gill briefly met the parents of missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann last week - on the same day they were grilled by German media questioning whether they had anything to do with the disappearance.
Gill was at a conference in Berlin, and didn't realise she was in the same hotel as Kate and Gerry McCann from Leicestershire. When she saw them, she went over to offer best wishes.
Gill says Madeleine's mum looked even more gaunt, exhausted and vacant than she appears on television, which is of course hardly surprising after going through every parent's worst nightmare.
But last Wednesday must have been one of the worst days since little Madeleine went missing more than a month ago from the Portuguese holiday resort of Praia da Luz.
They were touring Europe's capital cities trying to sustain media interest in Madeleine's story.
At an extraordinary press conference in Berlin,German Radio reporter Sabina Mueller asked them:
How do you feel about the fact that more and more people seem to be pointing the finger at you, saying the way you behave is not the way people would normally behave when their child is abducted and they seem to imply that you might have something to do with it?The couple were naturally shocked by the question. Gerry's voice shook with emotion as he replied:
I have never heard before that anyone considers us suspects in this and the Portuguese police certainly don't. Without going into too much detail, we were with a large group of people, and you know there is absolutely no way Kate and I are involved in this abduction.Looking horrified, Madeleine's mum said she thought that only a very small minority of people that are criticising us.
When Madeleine first went missing, there were questions raised about why they left their children in their holiday apartment while they went for a meal.
I certainly remember doing exactly the same when our children were small.