Between 2005 and 2006, the News of the World allegedly hacked into many public figures’ voicemails and used this information to publish stories in their paper.
Miller sought damages from News of the World, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN), over 11 articles published about her during 2005 and 2006 to prove that the newspaper had indeed unlawfully gained private information through illegal means.
Although Miller has won a significant sum of £100,000 from the trial, a spokesperson explains Miller’s primary
concern was “not how much money is rewarded by way of compensation but what the extent was of the hacking that took place.”
Miller is not the only public figure identified as a victim in the hacking scandal. Twenty-four breach of privacy claims have been lodged against the paper, eight of which the paper has admitted to. Miller is the first actor to successfully receive compensation from News of the World, but many celebrities await their turn to sue the paper as well. In fact, three more test cases will be tried at the end of this year involving interior designer Kelly Hoppen, sports commentator Andy Gray and sports agent Sky Andrew.
In addition, Wayne Roony; Heather Mills and James Hewitt, the man who had an affair with Princess Diana, are also considering legal action.
Miller unexpectedly settled last-minute with the paper as “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.” The settlement is the highest privacy award to date; and NGN will also pay Miller’s legal costs.
Rupert Murdoch’s News International announced last month it was setting up a £20m compensation fund in readiness for the lawsuits filed against them.
A News International spokeswoman said: “We’re pleased we have managed to bring this case to a satisfactory conclusion. Several weeks ago we admitted liability in certain cases and offered a genuine and unreserved apology.”
Do you think News of the World should compensate every public figure they targeted with hacking?