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Hugh Grant settles phone-hacking lawsuit with ‘The Sun’ publisher | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Phone hacking scandal: Hugh Grant settles with ‘The Sun’ publishers

What’s the story

Renowned British actor Hugh Grant has successfully settled his High Court case against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the publisher behind The Sun.

Grant, together with Prince Harry, filed a lawsuit against the publisher for alleged illegal data collection including wiretapping, break-ins, and unauthorized access to confidential information.

Announcing the settlement on X/Twitter, Grant revealed that he had been offered an “enormous sum” to resolve the case.

Why does this story matter?

Grant has been an advocate for media reform since the phone-hacking scandal erupted over a decade ago. He previously sued NGN for its association with the now-closed News of the World tabloid.

The case was settled in 2012 after media mogul Rupert Murdoch shut down the newspaper due to public backlash.

In his testimony, Grant accused The Sun of committing “burglaries to order, the breaking and entering of private property to obtain private information.”

NGN has consistently denied these allegations.

‘I don’t want to accept this money’

Grant clarified that he did not consider this “hush money.”

He posted on X: “News Group are claiming they are entirely innocent of the things I had accused The Sun of doing — phone hacking, unlawful information gathering, landline tapping, the burglary of my flat and office…As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court.”

“I don’t want to accept this money or settle.”

Grant had to accept settlement because of substantial legal costs

The Wonka actor explained, “But the rules around civil litigation mean that if I proceed to trial and the court awards me damages that are even a penny less than the settlement offer, I would have to pay the legal costs of both sides.”

“My lawyers tell me that that’s exactly what would most likely happen here. Murdoch’s lawyers are very expensive…even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching £10M in costs.”

Take a look at Grant’s post here

Here’s what prompted Grant to initiate his claim

Meanwhile, in a witness statement, the Love Actually actor referred to evidence provided during the Leveson Inquiry in 2011, where he recounted a break-in at his London flat, followed by a story in The Sun detailing its interior.

Grant clarified, “I had no evidence that this burglary was carried out or commissioned on the instruction of the press…let alone The Sun.”

He disclosed that an investigator informed him of this situation in early 2022, prompting him to initiate his claim.

‘Notting Hill’ actor plans for settlement funds

Despite settling his case, Grant plans to channel the settlement funds into organizations like Hacked Off, a group he founded in 2011 to advocate for a “free and accountable press for the public.”

Prince Harry, who had also filed a lawsuit against NGN over similar allegations, recently settled his phone-hacking case against the British tabloid The Mirror.

The Duke of Sussex launched the unlawful information-gathering claims in 2019.

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