Mirror group makes 21 hacking payouts: 'Journalists hacked actor Nigel Havers while he nursed dying wife' - Press Gazette

Mirror group makes 21 hacking payouts: 'Journalists hacked actor Nigel Havers while he nursed dying wife'

Nigel Havers

Some 21 Mirror group phone-hacking victims – including TV presenter Davina McCall and actors Nigel Havers and Rhys Ifans – have settled their cases against the publisher.

The settlements, which involved the payment of undisclosed damages and costs and an apology, were announced on Friday at a hearing before Mr Justice Mann.

The only claimant to attend court was TV personality Lisa Jeynes, who appeared in Big Brother in 2003.

Ms Jeynes, who received damages, costs and an apology over the unlawful accessing of her voicemails a decade ago, said afterwards that it was an emotional experience.

In May last year the High Court ruled that publisher Trinity Mirror should pay £1.2m in damages to eight individuals whose phones were repeatedly hacked by journalists on the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People titles over a number of years. The publisher has failed in its attempts to get the payouts reduced on appeal.

McCall’s case involved a March 2007 article headlined “Davina’s Stalker Terror”, which Mirror Group Newspapers admitted was the product of voicemail interception.

Counsel David Sherborne said that Chariots Of Fire star Havers was targeted between 2000 and 2004 and subjected to intense intrusion when he was nursing his late wife through the final stages of cancer and at the time of her death and funeral.

Ifans, best known for the film Notting Hill, was upset that since he was targeted, more than a decade ago, he had lost a number of close friends as a result of the distrust created by MGN’s activities.

Others who settled their claims are businesswoman and socialite Caroline Stanbury, PR consultant Alison Griffin, publicist Clair Dobbs, and film maker Jim Threapleton, who was married to actress Kate Winslet.

The list also included actress and Loose Women panellist Lisa Maxwell, actress and singer Suzanne Shaw, actress and singer Kym Marsh, actresses Caroline Chikezie, Tina Hobley, Holly Davidson, Kate Ford, Samia Ghadie and Lucy-Jo Hudson and actors Ben Freeman, Alan Halsall, Christopher Parker and George Calil.

A number of other claims are due to be tried in the first half of next year if agreement is not reached.

Last year, Mr Justice Mann awarded record compensation totalling £1.2 million to eight claimants on the basis of the invasions of privacy concerned being ”so serious and so prolonged”.

All the awards exceeded the previous highest sum given by a UK court in a privacy case – the £60,000 won by former Formula 1 boss Max Mosley who successfully sued the now defunct News of the World in 2008 – and are expected to provide a framework for resolving similar actions in the pipeline.

Actress and businesswoman Sadie Frost received the largest sum of £260,250, with ex-England footballer Paul Gascoigne getting £188,250.

TV executive Alan Yentob was awarded £85,000, sums of £117,500 and £157,250 respectively were awarded to actresses Shobna Gulati and Lucy Taggart, and £155,000 went to soap star Shane Richie.

TV producer Robert Ashworth, who was married to actress Tracy Shaw, received £201,250, and flight attendant Lauren Alcorn, who had a relationship with footballer Rio Ferdinand, was awarded £72,500.

His ruling was upheld by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court refused an application by MGN for permission to appeal.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette


3 thoughts on “Mirror group makes 21 hacking payouts: 'Journalists hacked actor Nigel Havers while he nursed dying wife'”

  1. Where is the wall – to – wall coverage of this disgraceful behaviour by a national newspaper?,………not on the BBC that’s for sure.

    I find it appalling that the BBC is failing to give this anywhere near the coverage it gave to the right of centre Sun newspaper.

    Also I find it very revealing that so many posters on this website have failed to condemn the Mirror, whereas they went overboard attacking the Sun.

    Rather hypocritical – but that’s what I have come to expect from the left.

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