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February 1, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 7:26am

Sir Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Heather Mills settle phone-hacking claims against Sun publisher

By Charlotte Tobitt

Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish have settled a phone-hacking claim against the publisher of the Sun days before a trial was due to begin.

Actress Elizabeth Hurley, activist Heather Mills and her sister Fiona Mills had also made claims relating to voicemail interception and unlawful information gathering at the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World.

The damages action brought by Sir Elton and film producer and director Furnish related to a claim for “misuse of private information”.

News Group Newspapers would have faced answering questions on allegations that such activities were “widespread” at the Sun at a High Court trial due to begin on Monday (4 February).

However the celebrities, represented by Taylor Hampton, all settled their claims out of court earlier this week.

NGN has repeatedly said it “makes no admission of liability” in relation to allegations of phone-hacking relating to the Sun.

A spokesperson for Hamlins solicitors said another round of similar claims would be brought to court in due course.

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“This is the fourth trial in the last 18 months which has settled very close to the start of the trial date and marks settlement of the last claims in this wave,” the lawyers said in a statement.

“…Hamlins are applying shortly to commence the next batch of claims being brought against NGN and expect the numbers of further claimants to equal those who have successfully settled their cases in the current wave.”

An NGN spokesperson said: “News Group Newspapers has settled cases relating to voicemail interception at the News of the World which closed in 2011.

“Sincere apologies have been offered to the claimants for the distress caused by the invasion of privacy.

“No admission of liability has been made to any allegations of illegal information gathering at the Sun newspaper.”

In September last year, former heavyweight champion of the world Frank Bruno was one of a number of celebrities who settled phone-hacking cases with NGN, alongside soap stars and TV personalities including Bob Mortimer, Les Dennis and Kym Marsh.

NGN again emphasised in these cases that no admission of liability had been made for allegations relating to the Sun.

Picture: Reuters/Gus Ruelas

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