Close family member paid to leak stories about Jude Law to the News of the World, court told

Actor Jude Law learned for the first time today that a member of his family allegedly sold stories about him to the News of the World, a court heard. 

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC asked him: "When was the first time that you heard the suggestion that a member of your family had passed information to the News of the World for money?"

Law replied: "Today."

The Alfie star appeared in wood-panelled Court 12 of the Old Bailey, giving evidence in the phone-hacking trial.

The actor was questioned by ex-News of the World editor Andy Coulson's lawyer, Timothy Langdale QC, about a story about his then- girlfriend Sienna Miller having an affair with actor Daniel Craig.

The lawyer wrote down a name of a source on a piece of paper to show the witness. The name was not read in court.

Law told the jury that he had discovered last autumn that the relative had passed on information, but had never heard claims they had been paid.

He said: "I was made aware very recently that there had been some kind of communication with this person and several others in and around and about this period of time. I was never aware any money had been exchanged."

The court heard that Jude Law rang fellow actor Daniel Craig to confront him over allegations that the James Bond star was having an affair with his girlfriend Sienna Millar.

When asked about  the call, Law agreed that he had made his views clear.

Langdale asked: "Did you make any reference to his then-girlfriend, somebody called Satsuki?"

He replied: "I do not remember if that was her name – Saski – more than likely, yes.

"We had known each other many, many years so the conversation took on all sorts of turns."

When Langdale asked: "Were you indicating that he owed it to her to tell her?", he replied: "I think that's correct. I think I did."

The father-of-four told the court that his way of communicating with the press was through his own publicist to "somehow get the story straight" and to create "a level playing field".

Mr Langdale asked him if he had met a certain News of the World journalist at the Wimbledon tennis championships, and Law could not recall this happening.

He said: "I hate to sound blase but I'm introduced to quite a few people when I go to things like Wimbledon."

The 41-year-old star of such films as the remake of Alfie told the court that the media had “an unhealthy amount of information” about his life.

He said this attention intensified after his Oscar nomination for The Talented Mr Ripley in 2001.

It grew throughout his divorce from Sadie Frost and then during his relationship with actress Sienna Miller, he told the court.

Sitting in the witness box in Court 12, Law said: "There seemed to be an unhealthy amount of information that people, or someone, had that meant they had access to my life and my whereabouts."

He said when police showed him notes that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire held about him, he "was shocked to see the amount of information that had been accumulated", but he added: "Sadly it didn't surprise me because it seemed apparent from what had been written [in the press]."

Law, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and blue spotted tie, told the jury that from around 2001 photographers would gather at his home.

"Around 2001 and over the following four or five years the daily appearance of packs of photographers either on the street or in cars became a very regular occurrence."

He added: "I became aware that I was also turning up at places having arranged to go there secretly … and the media were already there, or photographers were already there."

A close member of Law's family was leaking information to the News of the World for money in 2005, the court heard.

The actor was quizzed by former editor Andy Coulson's lawyer, Timothy Langdale QC, about a story about his then girlfriend Sienna Miller having an affair with actor Daniel Craig.

Asked if he was aware at any time that a member of his "immediate family" was talking to the News of the World, he said: “I was aware later around 2011, maybe later than that, at the time I was approached about the case that the News of the World had been in contact with people in my family, trying to find things out, asking for quotes.”

Asked if he knew the family member was getting paid, he said: "I have never been aware of that, getting paid for it."

The first he knew of that was today, in the court, he said.

He told the court he first became aware of rumours of the affair around the time the couple went to Miller's sister Savanah's wedding in the West Country and Law was shown News of the World articles headlined "Sienna Cheats On Jude" and "Layer Fake".

He told the court he had telephoned Craig to confront him about the affair and suggesting he should tell his own girlfriend about it.

But he could not remember whether that was before or after the paper broke the story and he had not left a voicemail about it.

Asked if he was aware that anyone around him was leaking stories, he said: "No, I did not know that anyone around me was talking to the newspapers, although I suspected it because there was such a flow of information… I suspected many people over that period of time."

The lawyer wrote down a name of a source on a piece of paper to show the witness.

"I was made aware very recently that there had been some kind of communication with this person and several others in and around and about this period of time. I was never aware any money had been exchanged."

Coulson denies conspiring to hack phones commit misconduct in a public office.

All of his fellow defendants deny all of the charges.

 

The trial continues.

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