Actor wins damages from Mirror Group in phone-hacking case

LONDON • British actor Steve Coogan won damages on Tuesday from Mirror Group Newspapers, whose reporters illegally listened to his voicemail messages to get scoops.

Best known in Britain for his portrayal of fictional radio presenter Alan Partridge, he is one of many celebrities who, along with politicians and members of the public caught up in news stories, fell victim to phone-hacking.

He was awarded an undisclosed sum in damages by Mirror Group Newspapers, owner of the Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People newspapers, in relation to 62 published articles that contained information obtained through phone-hacking.

A lawyer for the company said: "Mirror Group Newspapers apologises to Mr Coogan and accepts that he and other victims should not have been denied the truth for so long."

The phone-hacking scandal erupted in 2011 when it was revealed that News Of The World, a rival of Sunday Mirror, had hacked the voicemails of a teenage murder victim.

The uproar caused media magnate Rupert Murdoch to close down the newspaper.

The hacking scandal later widened as it became clear that reporters at Mirror Group Newspapers' publications had also relied on the illegal practice.

"Much of what was published caused enormous distress and significant damage to Mr Coogan's relationships with those he wrongly suspected had leaked private information or who believed he was the cause of their private information being made public," a lawyer for Coogan told the court.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2017, with the headline 'Actor wins damages from Mirror Group in phone-hacking case'. Print Edition | Subscribe