19 Jan 2012

NoW phone hack victims settle damage claims

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott and actor Jude Law are among several public figures who have settled damages claims in connection with News of the World phone hacking.

Former deputy PM John Prescott and actor Jude Law are among dozens of public figures who have settled damages claims in connection with News of the World phone hacking. (Getty)

Other claimants include actress and designer Sadie Frost, Labour MP Chris Bryant, and footballer Ashley Cole. The total of the settlements announced today, not including costs, is £645,000.

Welsh rugby player Gavin Henson, singer Dannii Minogue, Calum Best, son of George Best, and Meg Matthews, ex-wife of former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher, have also settled with News Group Newspapers (NGN).

In addition, Shaun Russell, whose wife and daughter were killed in Kent in 1996, and Sara Payne, the mother or murdered schoolgirl Sarah, are among the 36 claimants who have reached settlements.

‘Extremely brave’

Mark Thomson, of law firm Atkins Thomson, who represents some of the claimants, said other claimants had not settled and would press ahead with a trial scheduled for next month.

“All of the claimants have been extremely brave to take on and succeed against a massive and influential multinational media organisation,” Mr Thomson said.

“They can take the credit for triggering the new police investigation, the parliamentary inquiries, and the Leveson inquiry,” he said. “They should be very pleased with what they have achieved.

“A number of claimants are still pursuing the matter to trial and, as a result, NGN will continue to disclose further information and evidence.”

Previous payments

News International, whose NGN subsidiary published News of the World before it closed down last July, has said it will not comment on the payments.

When the case was last before Mr Justice Vos, in December, it emerged that seven cases had been resolved, including those of Lib Dem MP Mark Oaten, TV presenter Ulrika Jonsson, James Hewitt, who had a relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales, 7/7 hero Paul Dadge, and celebrities Abi Titmuss and Calum Best.

News International has previously confirmed settlements with PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor, publicist Max Clifford, sports presenter Andy Gray, and interior designer Kelly Hoppen.

The settlements (not including costs)
Chris Bryant MP: £30,000
– Ashley Cole: undisclosed
– Sadie Frost: £50,000
– Lisa Gower (ex-partner of Steve Coogan): £30,000
– HJK (anonymous “ordinary” man who had relationship with a celebrity): £60,000
– Joan Hammell (John Prescott’s assistant): £40,000
– Gavin Henson: £40,000
– Ben Jackson (assistant to Jude Law): £40,000
– Jude Law: £130,000 (has also issued actions against Sun)
– Denis MacShane MP: £32,500
– Ciara Parkes (PR consultant who repd Jude Law and Sienna Miller): £35,000
– Guy Pelly (friend of Princes William and Harry): £40,000
– Lord Prescott: £40,000
– Tom Rowland (Sunday Times journalist and writer): £25,000
– Graham Sheer (lawyer for Ashley Cole): £25,000
– Christopher Shipman (son of Harold Shipman): “Substantial” (amount undisclosed)
– Joan Smith (writer – relationship with Denis MacShane): £27,500
– Claire Ward (former Labour MP): “Substantial” (amount undisclosed)