Phone-hacking settlement makes legal history

Heather Mills has received one of the highest media privacy settlements in legal history, and received an apology from News Group Newspapers at the high court today after settling her phone-hacking case against the News of the World.


Ms Mills said a “criminal, targeted smear campaign” over the course of a decade by the, now defunct, news outlet destroyed her reputation and left her unable to continue her charity work. Mills was one of 90 individuals, including Sir Elton John and Elizabeth Hurley, who have recently settled their cases for criminal invasion of privacy against News Group Newspapers, the Murdoch-owned publisher that owns the News of the World and the Sun.


A Hacked Off spokesperson said,


“The fight is far from over. Some of the biggest newspaper corporations would rather throw money at the problem than address the evidence of a culture of criminality at our national newspapers. 


“Last year the company set aside £14.7m in its accounts to deal with costs relating to ongoing cases, and it is likely they will continue to settle outstanding claims this year and next. But will they ever answer the real questions the public deserve to know?


  • Who gave the order for criminal invasions of privacy including phone-hacking and data theft?
  • Which press executives knew about it and who covered it up?
  • Were police and public officials bribed by newspapers to hide the truth?


“Last year the Government disgracefully reneged on its promise to complete the Leveson Inquiry. Leveson Part Two would have demanded answers to many of these questions and gone some way to fostering accountability for newspapers while protecting fact-based journalism.”


“We must never forget that many hundreds if not thousands of ordinary members of the public who have been victimised by the press have been waiting for many years, if not decades, to know the truth and they deserve to get the justice they were promised.”




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