Andy Coulson denies reporter's claim that he was played voicemail of James Bond actor Daniel Craig - Press Gazette

Andy Coulson denies reporter's claim that he was played voicemail of James Bond actor Daniel Craig

Former tabloid editor Andy Coulson has denied ever being played a voicemail message left on James Bond actor Daniel Craig's phone by secret lover Sienna Miller.

Coulson, a former Number 10 spin doctor, denied allegations from his former News of the World colleague, journalist Dan Evans, that he editor was present when the reporter played the message.

Evans has already admitted conspiracy to hack phones at former employer the Sunday Mirror between February 2003 and January 2005, and the same offence at the News of the World between April 2004 and June 2010.

He has also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between January 2008 and June 2010, and perverting the course of justice by giving a false statement in High Court proceedings.

Evans, 38, has also claimed that Coulson knew about his activities and told him a voicemail he taped from Miller to Craig exposing their alleged affair was "brilliant".

Coulson, giving evidence for a fourth day in the phone-hacking trial at the Old Bailey, said Evans' account was wrong.

His counsel, Timothy Langdale QC, asked Coulson: "Dan Evans told the court that in September 2005 there was an occasion when he played to you a voicemail message left on Daniel Craig's telephone by Sienna Miller. Did any such incident take place?"

The defendant replied: "No, it did not."

Coulson said he could not remember having any specific dealings with Evans – who the tabloid recruited in January 2005 – during their time on the paper, but said they may have spoken.

He told the court: "I am sure we would have spoken to each other.

"If a new member of staff arrives I would normally make the point of saying hello and having a chat with them.

"I am sure that happened, but none [conversations] stick in my memory."

Coulson said his personal involvement as editor with stories and the reporters "varied".

He said: "There was no hard and fast set of rules in the way the story was researched and prepared."

Coulson, 46, of Charing, Kent, is charged with conspiring to hack phones with Rebekah Brooks and former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, and conspiring with former royal editor Clive Goodman to commit misconduct in a public office. All seven defendants deny all charges against them.

Coulson said he was aware of three contacts held by journalists on the NotW in relation to Sienna Miller and her then-partner Jude Law.

Their identities were not disclosed in court, though it has already been reported that a relative of Mr Law had been supplying information about the British actor.

All three contacts were in the "Jude Law camp", Coulson said.

Asked by Langdale if there was anything to suggest information contained in memos for Coulson by his reporters had been obtained by illegal hacking, he replied: "No, not at all."

Coulson said the News of the World's front page exclusive about Layer Cake co-stars Miller and Craig came in the same week he was busy overseeing a serialisation of British boxer Frank Bruno's biography.

He told the court: "I have been reminded of a lot of the details about the Sienna Miller and Jude Law story.

"But the story that would have taken up a lot of my time that week is the Frank Bruno story.

"It was a long, complicated book serialisation. I remember the publishers insisted on making changes quite late in the day, and I think the lawyers were involved as well.

"It took up a lot of my time."

Coulson said he believed information on the Miller-Craig affair may have come from Miller's mother.

"People in and around celebrities – their relatives, their agents, their PRs – will talk to newspapers," he said.

"It certainly happened during my career as a reporter and my career as an editor."

He had asked staff working on the story not to refer to Law as either a "sex addict" or a "love rat" in copy due to the paper's relationship with sources in his camp, he said, adding that he also believed that Law was aware that some of those close to him were talking to the press.



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