Hugh Grant files a lawsuit against Sun The sun

Hugh Grant is leading a new attempt to prove that there was a phone intrusion at Sun, although Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper continues to claim that there was no illegality there.

The actor followed Paul Gascoigne and Sienna Miller when they filed a so-called “sun-only” hacking claim, specifically claiming the illegality happened in a daily tabloid in the 2000s. Rebecca Brooks, the current CEO of Murdoch’s News UK Business, was the editor of Sun magazine during the period under review.

The British company Murdoch’s News has already paid millions of pounds to settle claims such as Miller and Gascoigne regarding the alleged activities of Sun journalists, thus ensuring that the allegations at the trial will not be heard.

“I suspect the damage is limited to some extent,” said Nathan Sparkes, CEO of Hacked Off, a company that advocates tighter press regulation. “In the Sun case, it’s most likely because they’re trying to avoid a full court case in which a lot of other details could come up that they don’t want to come up with.”

More such cases are expected in the future, which are a growing headache for Murdoch’s company as it tries to move out of the era of phone hacks and instead focus on the imminent launch of its Piers Morgan news channel, talkTV. Morgan himself has faced constant accusations – which he strongly denies – that he must have known about the practice when he was editor of the Daily Mirror in the 2000s.

Hugh Grant’s case is awkward for News UK because the company has always claimed that its illegal activity took place exclusively in News of the World, a Sunday magazine that closed in 2011 after 168 years.

As a result, Sun, in an unusual position, claimed not to have hacked into phones, while at the same time deciding to pay huge sums of damages and legal fees to people who claim otherwise – albeit without any admission of the violation.

The ongoing costs of litigation have affected Sun’s value as a company and led to huge financial losses.

The company recently failed in an attempt to halt an ongoing legal process, making alleged victims of phone burglary relatively easy to file lawsuits. With thousands of potential victims waiting on the wings, the lawsuit over the phone hack could now be extended to the third decade – which could increase the hundreds of millions of pounds Murdoch’s company has already paid out.

Among the individuals who have filed new lawsuits in recent weeks to break into a telephone company against the company are Government Minister Zac Goldsmith, his mother Lady Annabel Goldsmith, football manager Alan Pardew, former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne, Spice Girl Mel B, Liz McClarnon from Atomic Kitten, actresses Gillian Anderson and Kate Winslet, boxer Joe Calzaghe and Steps singer Lisa Scott-Lee.

Grant, who solved a phone intrusion case against News of the World in 2012, is unusual because he is one of a relatively small group of people who can file a separate claim specifically against Sun.

In a complicated legal system, Sun, which still publishes, and shut down News of the World are owned by the same parent company, which means it can settle cases against the latter provided the victims cannot file a separate lawsuit against the former.

But individuals who provided some of the first settlements to hack into a phone in the early 2010s – such as Grant – were not asked to agree to such terms. This allows them to file a second lawsuit against Sun.

Reach, the current owner of the Daily Mirror, is also facing lengthy and ongoing lawsuits over historical crimes of phone burglary in his tabloid newspapers. Prince Harry also has a case in court relating to violations at Sun, News of the World and the Mirror publisher.

Sparkes, whose organization is working to publicly investigate the relationship between the media and the police, said: “The background to the hacking is not only the practice, but also the cover-up and culture that made it happen. It may have happened a long time ago, but there is no evidence that the culture has changed significantly. “

News UK was contacted for comment.

Elvira Parkinson

"Alcohol scholar. Hardcore tv junkie. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Twitter fanatic. Subtly charming travel guru. Pop culture specialist."

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