The News of the World has reportedly paid the British actress Sienna Miller a total of £100,000 in compensation after bosses admitted liability for claims that journalists hacked into her voicemail messages.
Miller, 29, is the first celebrity whose phone has allegedly been hacked to settle her case, and for an unprecedented sum. It is the highest amount in damages ever awarded for a breach of privacy case.
News Group Newspapers, which owns the News of the World and is itself owned by Rupert Murdoch, will have to rely on its professional indemnity insurance to cover the compensation payment as well as paying Miller’s court costs.
Miller’s legal representative, Hugh Tomlinson QC, explained that his client had chosen to settle the case:
“precisely because all her claims have been admitted [comprising] misuse of private information, breach of confidence, publication of articles derived from voicemail hacking and a course of conduct of harassment over a period of 12 months as resulting from all that.”
At the High Court, it was revealed that Miller was “upset” by a story published about her relationship with actor Jude Law after her voicemail was hacked into by News of the World journalists.
A total of 24 celebrities so far have come forward with phone hacking claims against the newspaper.