The News of the World issued its “sincere apologies” to actress Sienna Miller for phone hacking at the High Court today and formally settled her privacy and harassment claim for £100,000.
The 29-year-old actress was not at London’s High Court for the brief hearing, but her counsel David Sherborne told Mr Justice Vos that in 2005 and 2006 she was the subject of numerous articles ontaining “intrusive and private information”.
As well as the damages and her legal costs, Ms Miller was granted an injunction preventing any further unlawful access of her voicemail and publication of her private information.
The order also provided for disclosure of information about the extent of the activities and allows her to come back to court in the light of any new material.
Sherborne said Miller first began to express concerns about the security of her mobile phone after people began calling her and hanging up, and when she began missing voicemail messages. The court heard she changed her number three times in a bid to protect herself.
“The information which was being published was only known to trusted friends and family,” said Sherborne.
“The claimant did not know whether someone close to her was leaking information or whether her mobile telephone was somehow being hacked into.
“Both possibilities were extremely distressing for the claimant.”
Sherborne claimed that in October 2010, following disclosure of documents by the Metropolitan Police Service, Miller issued proceedings for misuse of private information, breach of confidence and harassment.
In April this year News Group Newspapers made an unconditional admission of liability.
He added: “This meant that News Group accepted that confidential and private information had been obtained by the unlawful access of the claimant’s voicemail messages, that confidential and private information had been published as a result, and that there had been an invasion of her privacy, breaches of confidence and a campaign of harassment for over 12 months.”
News Group’s counsel Michael Silverleaf QC said the company offered “sincere apologies” to Miller for the damage and distress caused.
The company acknowledged that the information should never have been obtained in the manner it was and that the private information should never have been published, and said it had accepted liability.