English actor Hugh Grant reached a settlement on Monday with the Mirror Newspaper for an undisclosed sum for illegally hacking his phone. According to the UK media, the damages to be paid to Grant, 57, « exceeds 100,000 pounds » which the actor has said he will donate to the Hacked Off group of activists, who campaign for a free and accountable press.
In a statement to the media at the entrance to the High Court in London, Grant explained that the case was not just about him and clarified that he took the case to court to discover “the truth about the nature of high-level concealment at the Mirror Group.”
“This litigation has made clear that phone hacking and other unlawful information-gathering took place on an industrial scale at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, » Grant said.
The star of films like Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill also stressed that the media group « has misled the public and its shareholders for many years; and it has let down its readers and its hard-working journalists«
In 2012, Grant accepted a « substantial amount » in damages from the now-defunct British tabloid News Of The World as one the victims of the mobile phone hacking by reporters.
Along with Grant, many other celebrities targeted by journalists have also won damages including actor Patsy Kensit, television presenter Denise Van Outen, singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and former interior minister Charles Clarke, among others.
This case was considered one of the largest illegal wiretapping scandals in the United Kingdom and came to light in 2005 when Prince William discovered that his voicemails had been hacked and their contents reported on in the media. Following that, the scandal spread to many other British celebrities like the actors Jude Law and Sienna Miller, who each filed their own complaints , and the author of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, among others.