Celebrities settle damages for phone hacking scandals with UK publishers


Shane Warne is among a number of celebrities and prominent personalities who have settled phone hacking complaints against the publisher of the World news, the British High Court heard.

Statements were read before Judge Fancourt on behalf of 15 celebrities and other personalities, including actor Sean Bean, Texas singer Sharleen Spiteri and former Australian cricketer and commentator Warne.

News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of the now defunct newspaper, agreed to pay “substantial damages” to each of the plaintiffs and to pay their legal costs as well.

The publisher, through its legal team, issued a public apology to each of the plaintiffs for the actions of the World news, but did not admit any responsibility for the allegations of phone hacking in any of his other newspapers, The sun.

The group that settled the cases also includes actors Julia and Nadia Sawalha and Michelle Collins, ex-TV presenter Dani Behr, singer Dane Bowers and Coronation Street actors Richard Fleeshman and Quintin Lawson – also known as Charlie Lawson – who played Jim McDonald in the popular soap opera.

The court also heard statements on behalf of Constable Jane Epstein, Anne Diamond’s husband Michael Hollingsworth, former Big Brother candidate Imogen Thomas, former journalist Louise Port and Natalie Cecil, the ex-wife of racehorse trainer Henry Cecil.

David Sherborne, representing Shane Warne, said the former cricketer initiated proceedings in May 2020 after Metropolitan Police informed him details including his date of birth and cell phone number emerged in the notes of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.

The lawyer told the court: “The plaintiff identified a number of articles which he said contained his private and confidential information and which were published by the defendant’s newspapers between 1999 and 2011.

“During this period the Applicant used his voicemail a lot – especially when playing cricket – and he regularly received and left voicemail messages.”

Mr Sherborne said NGN had agreed to pay Warne substantial damages and legal costs relating to “the invasion of his privacy by persons working for or on behalf of the World news“, but accepts no responsibility for The sun.

Since the phone hacking scandal led to the closure of the World news in 2011, NGN settled a number of damages claims relating to the illegal collection of information – but the publisher never admitted responsibility for the alleged phone hacking at The sun.


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