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Hugh Grant can’t bring phone hacking claims against The Sun in a Supreme Court trial


Hugh Grant has been denied the opportunity to pursue phone hacking claims against the publisher of The Sun newspaper, a judge has ruled.

Mr Grant, 62, is filing a lawsuit alleging he was targeted by journalists and private investigators against News Group Newspapers (NGN) only in relation to The Sun, having settled a claim with the publisher earlier in 2012 in relation to to the now-defunct News Of The World.

NGN, which denies any unlawful activity took place at The Sun, made a bid to have both Mr Grant’s claim and a similar claim by the Duke of Sussex rejected at a hearing in London last month, arguing that both men had given up too late to file their claims.

But in a ruling on Friday, Mr Justice Fancourt concluded that Mr Grant’s claim could be adjudicated except for phone hacking charges.

‘Intrusions on order’

The judge ruled that Mr Grant could have filed a claim for phone hacking earlier as he was aware of this, but that his other claims must be adjudicated.

Mr Grant, who attended part of last month’s hearing, claims, among other things, that he was the target of “ordered burglaries”.

In a testimonial, the Love Actually star said: “My claim relates to unlawful acts committed by The Sun, including warranted burglaries, breaking into and entering private property to obtain private information through eavesdropping, eavesdropping on landlines, phone hacking and using private investigators to do all these and other illegal things against me.”

He referred in the statement to evidence he had provided for the 2011 Leveson Inquiry into Press Standards and Ethics, in which he spoke of a break-in at his London flat, where the front door was forced off its hinges and a story emerged shortly afterwards. in The Sun which “detailed the interior”.

He said: “I had no evidence that this burglary was carried out or commissioned by the press, let alone The Sun”.

The actor added that he was told this in early 2022 by a private investigator, prompting him to file his claim.

In his statement, the actor says he made his recent claim after receiving information that “proved for the first time evidence that The Sun had directed unlawful activity directly at me and my associates.”

He said the information included invoices and payments from private investigators, and that they included the time period of the Leveson investigation into press standards and ethics.

Trial starts in January

NGN has previously settled a number of claims since the phone hacking scandal broke regarding The News Of The World, which closed in 2011, but has consistently denied that any unlawful information gathering took place at The Sun.

A spokesman for NGN said: “News Group Newspapers (NGN) is pleased that, following our request, the High Court has ruled that Mr Grant is legally barred from bringing a phone hacking claim against The Sun.

“The remainder of his claim, which was made in response to a statement made by Mr Gavin Burrows in 2021, is allowed to be adjudicated.

“NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information gathering in what remains of Mr. Grant’s claim.”

In a statement from his lawyers at Gunnercooke law firm, Mr Grant said: “I am pleased that my case is going to court, which I have always wanted – because there is a need for the truth to come out about The Sun’s activities.

“As my case makes clear, the allegations go much further and deeper than the interception of voicemail.”

The trial is due to take place in January next year.

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