News Corp.’s U.K. unit apologized to actress Sienna Miller as part of a 100,000-pound ($165,000) settlement of a case over hacking into her mobile-phone voice mails for stories.
News Group Newspapers offered its “sincere apologies” to Miller, Michael Silverleaf, a lawyer for the News Corp. unit, said at a London court hearing today.
“News Group has agreed to pay 100,000 pounds to the claimant as damages and the claimant’s legal costs,” David Sherborne, Miller’s lawyer, said. “The court has also granted an injunction preventing any further unlawful accessing of the claimant’s voice-mail messages.”
Miller, 29, is one of more than 20 celebrities and politicians to sue the News Corp. unit over the more than four-year-old phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World newspaper. The company in April offered to settle some of the cases after journalists linked to the paper were arrested.
The newspaper admitted writing stories about Miller using information obtained by hacking into her voice mail. The paper also agreed to give her information relating to the extent of those intrusions. The court granted an order banning the paper from repeating the infractions.
Sherborne told the court that in 2005 and 2006, Miller was the subject of “numerous” articles published by the News of the World that contained “intrusive and private information.” Over the same period, she had “considerable concerns” about the security of her mobile phone because callers had hung up on her and voice-mail messages had disappeared.
“The claimant did not know whether somebody close to her was leaking information or whether her telephone was somehow being hacked into,” Sherborne said. “Both possibilities were extremely distressing.”
Silverleaf said that the private information should never have been obtained “in the manner it was” and shouldn’t have been published. News Group “has accepted liability for misuse of private information, breach of confidence and harassment.”
Mark Thomson, another of Miller’s lawyers, said she declined to comment further on the matter.