Identity deal eclipses harassment complaint

The Hamiltons’ accuser, Nadine Milroy-Sloan, revealed her identity to the News of the World at the weekend after the Press Complaints Commission had received two complaints from her solicitor – one of harassment by the NoW.

The PCC has written a brusque letter to solicitor John Bridge wanting clarification on the complaints – about jigsaw identification of Milroy-Sloan by the tabloids and harassment by the NoW.

Made only on Friday, the latter complaint alleged that the newspaper was putting pressure on their client to co-operate with the story for money.

Industry sources believe the commission will not take too kindly to complainants using it when there has clearly been an above-board deal set up with the newspaper.

The NoW has paid £75,000 to Milroy-Sloan’s parents for the interview they gave to the paper the previous week and for their further help last weekend.

Her adviser, Max Clifford, said: "Nadine was being humiliated day by day and they wanted to do something so someone would stand up for her.

"Nadine called me on Friday and said she was prepared to go on the record.

"I told her to have a word with her solicitor because I did not want her to do anything that would jeopardise the police inquiry."

NoW acting editor Andy Coulson said no one at the paper was aware of the complaint.

"There has been no direct complaint from the woman herself. If someone else has taken it upon themselves to complain, supposedly on her behalf, then that bemuses us," he said.

"Quite clearly, the woman herself is entirely happy over the way the News of the World has behaved, so much so that she chose us above every other newspaper – and believe me, every other newspaper wanted that story – to invite us into her house and reveal her identity. And she did that because of Phil Taylor’s brilliant journalism." Taylor, the paper’s chief reporter, got the scoop.

Coulson said that if the solicitors had made the harassment complaint "then I suggest they talk to their client and read the paper".

PCC deputy director Tim Toulmin confirmed the existence of the complaints and said: "In the light of the clear co-operation of Nadine Milroy-Sloan with the News of the World we are seeking urgent clarification of what she intends to do with these complaints." Bridge was not available for comment.

By Jean Morgan

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