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Hugh Grant settles suit alleging illegal snooping by The Sun tabloid

LONDON (AP) — Hugh Grant received “a huge amount of money” to settle a lawsuit accusing tabloid The Sun of illegally tapping his phone, bugging his car and breaking into his home to spy on him, the actor said Wednesday after the agreement was announced in court.

Grant, who with Prince Harry sued News Group Newspapers, said he reluctantly agreed because he could have ended up with a huge legal bill even if he prevailed at trial. Under civil court rules, he would have had to pay legal fees to both parties if he had been awarded a penny less than the settlement offer.

“As is often the case with completely innocent people, they are offering me a huge amount of money to keep this case out of court,” Grant said on the social network allegation was proven in court, I would still be responsible for something approaching £10 million ($12.4 million) in costs I’m afraid I’m hiding in front of that fence.

The settlement amount was not disclosed. NGN said in a statement that it admitted no liability and said the settlement was in the financial best interests of both parties to avoid a costly trial.

Grant and other plaintiffs alleged that NGN, a subsidiary of the media empire built by Rupert Murdochviolated their privacy by carrying out widespread illegal activities, including hiring private investigators to intercept voicemails, tap phones, spy on cars, and use deception to gain access to confidential information between 1994 and 2016.

Grant said in a witness statement that he was never able to find out who broke into his fourth-floor apartment in 2011. The door had been ripped off its hinges and the interior looked like a fight, but nothing was not missing. Two days later, The Sun published an article detailing the interior and the “signs of a domestic dispute”.

He said he was surprised when a private investigator hired by the Sun revealed that people working for the paper had broken into his apartment and placed a tracking device on his car.

Grant, who previously settled a case against Murdoch’s News of the World for hacking his phone, said he would not go quietly.

“The Murdoch settlement money stinks and I refuse to let it remain hush money,” he said. “I have spent the better part of 12 years fighting for a free press that does not distort the truth, abuse ordinary citizens and hold elected officials (Members of Parliament) to ransom in the pursuit of personal profit and of the political power of the press barons. »

Grant said he would direct the money to groups like Be fed up, which was created after revelations of phone hacking in 2011 brought down News of the World and led to a government investigation into illegal press practices. Grant is a board member of the group that advocates for a free and responsible press.

While the defunct News of the World apologized for hacking into the phones of celebrities, politicians and families of dead soldiers and a murdered schoolgirl, The Sun settled matters without admitting responsibility.

Grant’s agreement to settle his claims leaves the Duke of Sussex and 41 others facing trial at the High Court in January.

The settlement came after Judge Timothy Fancourt previously rejected NGN’s attempt to dismiss Grant’s lawsuit in May.

“If true…these allegations would establish very serious and deliberate wrongdoing within NGN, committed on a large-scale institutional basis,” Fancourt wrote in May. “They would also establish a concerted effort to cover up wrongdoing by hiding and destroying relevant documentary evidence, repeated public denials, lies to regulators and authorities, and unwarranted threats against those who dared to make allegations or notify their intentions against The Sun.

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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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