Former footballer Lee Sharpe and ex-girlfriend settle phone-hacking damages claims

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Former footballer Lee Sharpe and his ex-girlfriend Joanne Petty have settled their phone-hacking damages claims.

Sharpe (pictured, left, Reuters), who retired from the game in 2002 to become a TV personality and sports pundit, and Petty received an apology for any damage or distress suffered, undisclosed damages and their legal costs from News Group Newspapers.

The settlements announced at a hearing at the High Court on Friday before Mr Justice Mann are the latest in the civil litigation against NGN, which published the now defunct News of the World.

Counsel David Sherborne told the judge that, in 2013, Sharpe and Petty – who was a private individual with no public profile – were contacted by the police who said that personal information about them had been found as part of the investigations under Operation Weeting.

They then issued proceedings for misuse of private information and breach of confidence and, before any defence was served, NGN made offers to settle their claims.

In light of the order, which had been agreed and the making of the public statement, both Sharpe and Petty considered themselves fully vindicated, he said.

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