Grant settles hacking claim against the Mirror

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Hugh Grant attending the Leveson Inquiry in central London in 2011.

Actor Hugh Grant has settled a phone-hacking damages claim against Mirror Group Newspapers at the High Court.

The Press Association says it is understood the star will be paid a six-figure sum, which he will donate to the campaign group Hacked Off.

Grant, 57, appeared at the court in London to hear his lawyer give details of the hacking settlement.

The actor said the newspaper group had been guilty of phone hacking on an “industrial scale”.

Grant’s lawyer Anjlee Saigol told Mr Justice Mann the action against the Mirror Group related to the alleged illegal misuse of his information obtained by hacking of his voicemails, blagging and surveillance by journalists at all three of MGN newspapers.

The practice of “blagging” is a deception technique used to obtain an individual’s private data by posing as someone else.

Newspaper group MGN owns the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

‘Determined to uncover the truth’

Speaking outside court after Monday’s hearing, Mr Grant said: “This case was not just about what they did to my phone and those close to me.

“In this litigation my lawyer and I pressed further because I was determined to uncover the truth about the nature of high-level concealment at the Mirror Group.

“This litigation has made clear that phone hacking and other unlawful information-gathering took place on an industrial scale at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

“This newspaper group has misled the public and its shareholders for many years; and it has let down its readers and its hard-working journalists.

“The public were not told the truth, the victims were not told the truth, the shareholders were not told the truth and the Leveson Inquiry was not told the truth.

“That is why the second part of the Leveson Inquiry must take place – to get to the truth and discover who broke the law and who lied about it.”

On Monday, Grant’s lawyer Anjlee Saigol added one of Grant’s main reasons for pursuing the case was to establish the truth about the group’s investigations and knowledge of its unlawful activities before it admitted it in September 2014.

In October, comedian Steve Coogan was the latest in a long list of more than 40 celebrities to have settled phone-hacking claims against MGN.

They include Lord Archer, footballer Kevin Keegan and actresses Patsy Kensit and Michelle Collins.

Grant, who is known for films including Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, was one of the leading voices in the campaign for stricter press regulation.

In 2012 he accepted a “substantial sum” in damages from the now-defunct News of the World.

Grant was one of the victims of the paper’s widespread phone hacking, which led to its closure in 2011.

He gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics, set up following the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.



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