News Corp.’s News of the World newspaper suspended an assistant editor over claims he approved hacking into the voice mail of phones belonging to actress Sienna Miller.
The London newspaper, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., suspended Ian Edmondson, after Miller alleged in a lawsuit that he approved a contract with an investigator to eavesdrop on personal messages between her, her friends and business associates.
“We have followed our internal procedures and we can confirm this person was suspended from active duties just before Christmas,” News of the World said today in an e-mailed statement. “The allegation is the subject of litigation and our internal investigation will take place in tandem with that.”
Miller, whose movies include “Layer Cake” and “Factory Girl,” is seeking an injunction to restrain the newspaper from “using, accessing or attempting to access voice-mail messages left for her or by her and from publishing or causing to be published any confidential information,” as well as “exemplary damages,” according to a court document dated Nov. 30.
The actress claims the newspaper paid private investigator Glenn Mulcaire 2,500 pounds ($3,900) to listen in on the messages and that Edmondson approved the contract with Mulcaire.
U.K. prosecutors said Dec. 10 they don’t have enough evidence to file further criminal charges over allegations of phone hacking at the News of the World, after witnesses refused to cooperate or denied any knowledge of wrongdoing. This followed a New York Times report that suggested phone hacking was more widespread at the British newspaper than a previous criminal case showed.
The News of the World didn’t immediately supply contact details for Edmondson and other efforts to reach him by phone weren’t successful. Sienna Miller’s lawyer, Mark Thomson, declined to comment.