Hugh Grant is refused permission to sue The Sun newspaper over phone hacking allegations in new High Court ruling
- But the High Court allowed Grant’s claims of ‘unlawful information gathering’
Hugh Grant has been refused permission to sue The Sun newspaper for allegedly hacking his phone.
The actor, a key supporter of anti-tabloid press campaign group Hacked Off, had launched a legal action, claiming Sun journalists accessed voice messages on his mobile phone.
But a High Court judge ruled yesterday that Grant’s claim was launched too long after he became aware of potentially unlawful hacking activity and could not be considered.
Mr Justice Fancourt did allow the 62-year-old actor to continue with legal claims against The Sun over other allegations of ‘unlawful information gathering’.
Grant claims the paper’s journalists hired private investigators to seek information about him through activities including ‘landline tapping, bugging, blagging’, and says three burglaries were committed in an illegal search for stories.
News Group Newspapers (NGN), which owns The Sun, denies the claims.
NGN has settled several claims since the phone-hacking scandal broke in relation to the News of the World, which closed in 2011, but has consistently denied that any unlawful information gathering took place at The Sun. One of the NGN settlements over the News of the World was with Grant.
Also at the High Court yesterday, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese turned up at Prince Harry’s hacking case against the publishers of the Daily Mirror.
Cleese, 83, arrived at the court in London at the same time as Graham Johnson, a convicted phone hacker.
The actor, who is not involved in the case, smiled to photographers as he walked into the building saying: ‘Hello, hello, hello.’
He watched proceedings from the public gallery as Harry’s barrister David Sherborne tried to convince the judge to let him introduce three late witnesses.
Mr Justice Fancourt rejected the application, saying it would not be ‘in the interest of fairness of the trial as a whole’.
Monty Python star Cleese is a vehement opponent of the tabloid Press, once threatening to leave Britain partly because of his ‘beef’ with newspapers.
He has been meeting Prince Harry’s witnesses, including Mr Johnson, a former journalist who was given a suspended sentence for hacking phones and is now working with Harry’s lawyers. The Mirror denies the claims against it.