Hugh Grant denied leave to sue The Sun newspaper over phone hacking allegations in new High Court ruling
- But the High Court upheld Grant’s claims of ‘unlawful information gathering’
Hugh Grant has been refused permission to sue The Sun newspaper for allegedly hacking into his phone.
The actor, a leading supporter of the anti-tabloid media campaign group Hacked Off, had launched a legal action, claiming Sun reporters had accessed voicemails on his mobile phone.
But a High Court judge yesterday ruled that Grant’s complaint was launched too long after learning of potentially illegal piracy activity and could not be considered.
Judge Fancourt has cleared the 62-year-old actor to continue his legal action against The Sun over further allegations of ‘unlawful information gathering’.
Grant claims that the newspaper’s reporters hired private investigators to seek information about him through activities such as “wiretapping, wiretapping, blogging”, and claims that three burglaries were committed in connection of an illegal search for articles.
Hugh Grant has been refused permission to sue The Sun newspaper for allegedly hacking his phone
News Group Newspapers (NGN), owner of The Sun, denies the claims.
NGN has settled several claims since the News of the World phone-hacking scandal broke, which closed in 2011, but has always denied that any unlawful news gathering took place at The Sun. One of the NGN settlements on News of the World was with Grant.
Also at the High Court yesterday, Fawlty Towers star John Cleese appeared in Prince Harry’s hacking case against the Daily Mirror editors.
Cleese, 83, arrived at court in London at the same time as convicted telephone hacker Graham Johnson.
The actor, who is not involved in the case, smiled at photographers as he entered the building, saying, “Hello, hello, hello.”
He watched the proceedings from the public gallery as Harry’s lawyer, David Sherborne, tried to convince the judge to let him present three deceased witnesses.
Cleese (right), 83, arrived at court in London at the same time as convicted telephone hacker Graham Johnson (left)
Judge Fancourt denied the request, saying it would not be “in the interests of the fairness of the trial as a whole”.
Monty Python star Cleese is a vocal opponent of the tabloid press, once threatening to leave Britain in part because of his “beef” with the newspapers.
He met Prince Harry’s witnesses, including Mr Johnson, a former journalist who received a suspended sentence for hacking phones and is now working with Harry’s lawyers. The Mirror denies the allegations against him.