< Back to 68k.news UK front page

Hugh Grant unable to bring phone hacking claims against The Sun in High Court trial

Original source (on modern site) | Article images: [1]

Hugh Grant has been denied the chance to take phone hacking claims against the publisher of The Sun newspaper to trial, a judge has ruled.

Mr Grant, 62, is bringing legal action alleging he was targeted by journalists and private investigators against News Group Newspapers (NGN) in relation to The Sun only, having previously settled a claim with the publisher in 2012 relating to the now defunct News Of The World.

NGN, which denies any unlawful activity took place at The Sun, brought a bid to have both Mr Grant's claim and a similar claim by the Duke of Sussex thrown out at a hearing in London last month, arguing that both men had left it too late to file their claims.

But, in a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Fancourt concluded Mr Grant's claim could proceed to trial, except for any allegations relating to phone hacking.

'Burglaries to order'

The judge found that Mr Grant could have brought a claim for phone hacking sooner, as he had knowledge of it, but that his other claims will have to be tried.

Mr Grant, who attended court for some of last month's hearing, alleges among other things that he was targeted using "burglaries to order".

In a witness statement, the Love Actually star said: "My claim concerns unlawful acts committed by The Sun, including burglaries to order, the breaking and entering of private property in order to obtain private information through bugging, landline tapping, phone hacking, and the use of private investigators to do all these and other illegal things against me."

He referred in the statement to evidence he gave to the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and ethics in 2011, in which he spoke about a break-in at his London flat, where the front door was forced off its hinges and a story appeared shortly afterwards in The Sun that "detailed the interior".

He said: "I had no evidence that this burglary was carried out or commissioned on the instruction of the press, let alone The Sun".

The actor added that he had been told by a private investigator in early 2022, which prompted him to launch his claim.

In his statement, the actor says he brought his recent claim after being passed information which "showed, for the first time, evidence that The Sun had targeted unlawful activity at me and my associates directly".

He said the information included private investigator invoices and payments, and that they included the period during which the Leveson Inquiry into press standards and ethics was taking place.

Trial to start in January

NGN has previously settled a number of claims since the phone-hacking scandal broke in relation to The News Of The World, which closed in 2011, but has consistently denied that any unlawful information gathering took place at The Sun.

A spokesperson for NGN said: "News Group Newspapers [NGN] is pleased that, following our application, the High Court has ruled that Mr Grant is statute barred from bringing a phone hacking claim against The Sun.

"The remainder of his claim, which has been brought following a statement made by Mr Gavin Burrows in 2021, has been allowed to proceed to trial.

"NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information gathering contained in what remains of Mr Grant's claim."

In a statement issued by his lawyers at law firm Gunnercooke, Mr Grant said: "I am pleased that my case will be allowed to go to trial, which is what I have always wanted - because it is necessary that the truth comes out about the activities of The Sun.

"As my case makes clear, the allegations go far wider and deeper than voicemail interception."

The trial is due to take place in January next year.

< Back to 68k.news UK front page