Cilla Black among stars to settle phone hacking claims for ‘substantial’ damages

Cilla Black is among the latest group of celebrities to settle phone hacking claims for “substantial” damages with the publisher of the Mirror titles, the high court has heard.

A judge in London was told on Thursday that EastEnders’ star Jessie Wallace, singer and TV personality Peter Andre and actor and singer Darren Day have also settled actions against Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), publisher of the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People.

Their barrister David Sherborne told Mr Justice Mann that the actions related to the “widespread and habitual practice of voicemail interception and the unlawful obtaining of personal information” which took place during the period of 2000 to 2006.

Sherborne told the judge that a claim brought by Black’s son Robert Willis, who is the star’s manager, had also been settled.

He read out statements on behalf of Black and Willis, Andre, Day and Wallace, and also a further five in the cases of other individuals whose settlements have previously been reported, including former England head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, actor Christopher Eccleston and David and Victoria Beckham’s former nanny Abbie Gibson.

Their claims for “misuse of private information” were brought against MGN Limited, a subsidiary company of Trinity Mirror, and publisher of a “number of well-known and highly influential newspaper titles”.

Mr Sherborne added: “In particular, it is the publisher of the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and the People newspapers, which enjoy not just an enormous circulation and readership within this jurisdiction but also have a large number of readers online.”

He told the judge: “In summary, these 10 individuals all bring claims that cover unlawful activity by each of the three newspaper titles over a lengthy period.

“They have all expressed their feelings of distress and anger that their private information has been treated in this way, and their privacy has been so grossly violated by these newspapers solely for profit.”