Hugh Grant Settles Phone Hacking Lawsuit with The Sun for “Enormous Sum”

Hugh Grant Settles Phone Hacking Lawsuit with The Sun for “Enormous Sum”

Hugh Grant Settles Phone Hacking Lawsuit with The Sun for “Enormous Sum”

London, England – In a surprising turn of events, Hugh Grant has settled his High Court claim against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher of The Sun newspaper. The lawsuit, centred around allegations of unlawful information gathering by The Sun against Grant, was scheduled for trial in January this year.

Grant, alongside Prince Harry, had accused NGN of a range of actions including landline tapping, burglary, and “blagging” confidential information. Taking to social media, the 63-year-old actor explained his decision to settle, citing the potential financial burden associated with a prolonged legal battle.

“While I vehemently deny NGN’s claims of complete innocence regarding phone hacking, unlawful information gathering, and a litany of other offences,” Grant wrote, “they’ve offered me a substantial sum of money to keep this matter out of court.”

He expressed his frustration at being unable to see the case proceed: “Frankly, I’d relish the opportunity to have these accusations tested in court. However, the legal system can be a double-edged sword. If I continue and the court awards even a single penny less than the proposed settlement, I’d be liable for both sides’ legal costs.”

Grant’s legal team reportedly advised that such an outcome was “highly likely,” potentially leaving him responsible for millions of pounds. “Facing a potential bill of around £10 million, I’m forced to back down,” he conceded.

This isn’t Hugh Grant’s first foray into press reform activism. Since the phone-hacking scandal erupted over a decade ago, he’s been a vocal advocate for change. Notably, he settled a previous lawsuit against NGN in 2012, a year after the closure of the News of the World tabloid in the wake of public outrage.

NGN has consistently denied any wrongdoing by The Sun staff, despite settling over 1,000 cases related to the paper without admitting liability. Among other allegations, Grant claimed he was targeted through “orchestrated burglaries.”

In a witness statement, he detailed alleged unlawful acts committed against him by The Sun, including break-ins and the use of private investigators to acquire private information. These claims mirror the testimony Grant provided to the Leveson Inquiry on press standards and ethics in 2011.

NGN maintains its stance of no unlawful activity at The Sun. A spokesperson for the company stated, “We sincerely apologised to all victims of voicemail interception by the News of the World back in 2011. Since then, NGN has compensated those with legitimate claims.”

They further explained their approach to resolving outstanding legal matters: “As this saga nears its conclusion, NGN is drawing a line under historical disputes, some dating back two decades. In certain cases, reaching a settlement before trial is commercially prudent for both parties, bringing finality to the matter.”

While Grant’s case has settled, Prince Harry’s claim against NGN is still on track for trial in January 2025.

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