A group of celebrities have received what are described as “substantial damages” to settle phone hacking claims from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), the publishers of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.
A court in London was told that Cilla Black, Peter Andre, Eastenders’ actress Jessie Wallace, and Darren Day were amongst those who agreed a settlement with the company after their voicemails were hacked by newspapers between 2000 and 2006.
Also listed were Cilla Black’s son Robert Willis (who acts as her manager), former England football coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, one-time Time Lord Christopher Eccleston and Abbie Gibson, the former nanny of David and Victoria Beckham.
Reading out statements from the victims, barrister David Sherborne said:
“In summary, these 10 individuals all bring claims that cover unlawful activity by each of the three newspaper titles over a lengthy period. They have all expressed their feelings of distress and anger that their private information has been treated in this way, and their privacy has been so grossly violated by these newspapers solely for profit.”
No damages figures were disclosed.
Here is a video I made in September last year, when the Mirror newspapers finally admitted that their staff had been hacking into mobile phone voicemail systems.
In it you will learn more about the story, including Jeremy Paxman’s claim that Piers Morgan taught him how to hack phones, and a brief karaoke performance of a Beatles song from me.
Similar phone hacking claims, of course, resulted in the demise of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World back in July 2011, and ultimately the imprisonment of former editor Andy Coulson.