Hugh Grant resolves Sun Publisher’s Privacy Lawsuit

Actor Hugh Grant has reached a resolution in a privacy case against the Sun publisher’s newspaper, acknowledging the potential financial implications he could have faced, regardless of the outcome.

The celebrity filed a lawsuit against News Group Newspapers (NGN), alleging that reporters had employed private investigators to eavesdrop on his phone conversations and break into his residence.

He expressed his reluctance to accept the substantial amount of money he was offered for a settlement, citing concerns about the potential high costs of a trial.

NGN refuted the allegations made against it.

The company announced that they have reached an undisclosed settlement, emphasising that it was done without admitting liability. They stated that both parties found it financially beneficial to avoid a costly trial.

Following a surprising outcome unveiled during a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, Grant took to social media to share a statement. In his post, he explained that pursuing the case further could potentially result in him being responsible for significant legal expenses.

Funds to be reallocated

“I would be interested in seeing all the allegations that they deny tested in court,” he wrote.

“However, due to the regulations regarding civil litigation, if I were to go to trial and the court were to grant me damages that are even slightly lower than the settlement offer, I would be responsible for covering the legal expenses of both parties.”

“According to my legal team, it is highly probable that this scenario would occur.” The legal team of Rupert Murdoch comes at a high cost. Even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be responsible for nearly £10 million in costs. I’m hesitant about approaching that fence.

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The actor expressed concerns about the source of the funds, stating that they had a questionable nature. As a result, he plans to redirect the money towards organisations such as Hacked Off, which aim to shed light on the most egregious actions of our media controlled by powerful individuals.

Grant’s case, along with several others, was scheduled for trial at London’s High Court in January.

In a statement shared on social media, campaign group Hacked Off expressed their concern over the allegations made by Mr. Grant, stating that they find the claims of burglaries and theft to be deeply troubling. Once again, instead of going through the legal process, News UK has made every effort to evade taking responsibility.

The actor, along with Prince Harry, was taking legal action against NGN for what they claimed was extensive and illegal gathering of information. The prince is still engaged in a legal dispute with the company.

Consequences of phone hacking

Grant has gained widespread recognition for his work in notable films like Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, and Paddington 2. Additionally, he has been actively involved in advocating for press reform following the phone-hacking scandal that came to light over ten years ago.

In the past, he filed a lawsuit against NGN regarding the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, and the case was resolved in 2012.

That happened a year after the newspaper was closed down by media mogul Murdoch due to public outrage over hacking revelations.

NGN has denied any wrongdoing by staff at the Sun and has resolved over 1,000 cases without accepting liability.

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During a hearing on Wednesday, Anthony Hudson KC, representing NGN, mentioned that there are currently 42 ongoing claims. This comes after the recent settlement of Mr. Grant’s claim.

It makes sense from a business perspective

In a statement, a spokesperson for NGN expressed their regret for the incidents of voicemail interception by the News of the World that occurred in 2011. NGN has been compensating individuals who have valid claims for financial damages.

“As we near the conclusion of legal proceedings, NGN is resolving long-standing disputes, some of which go back over two decades.” At times, it has been advantageous for both parties to reach a settlement agreement prior to trial in order to resolve the issue.

“Several ongoing civil court cases involve disputed claims, including some that aim to involve The Sun.” We want to clarify that The Sun denies any liability or admissions to the allegations.

“A judge has recently made a ruling regarding Mr. Grant’s claim, determining that certain parts of it were filed after the deadline. However, we have managed to come to an agreement to resolve the remaining aspects of the case.” This has been accomplished without accepting responsibility. Both parties have a strong incentive to avoid proceeding to an expensive trial.

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