Hugh Grant, murdered girls' parents to condemn UK press

21st November 2011, Comments 0 comments

The parents of a murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked by the News of the World tabloid, and actor Hugh Grant give evidence on Monday to an inquiry into the standards of the British press.

Milly Dowler's parents will tell a panel chaired by a senior judge of their heartbreak when a private investigator gave them false hope about their missing daughter by deleting messages from her mobile phone.

Sally and Bob Dowler, the first witnesses to the Leveson Inquiry, will also describe how the now-closed newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch intruded on their grief by using a picture of them retracing Milly's route when she was abducted.

Grant, the star of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Notting Hill", is expected to say that press intrusion is making the life of the mother of his child a misery.

The actor became a vocal campaigner against the News of the World, the top-selling Sunday newspaper which was shut down after revelations about the hacking of 13-year-old Milly Dowler's phone emerged in July.

As well as listening to Milly's voicemails, private detective Glenn Mulcaire erased some messages to make room for new ones, leading her family to believe she was still alive and using her phone, the inquiry has heard.

In fact, she had been abducted in 2002 and murdered.

David Sherborne, a lawyer for the Dowlers and other victims of press intrusion, told the inquiry last week that her mother felt "euphoria" when she finally got through to her missing daughter's voicemail as a result of Mulcaire's deletions.

"Perhaps there are no words which can adequately describe how despicable this act was," he said.

Mulcaire was jailed along with the News of the World's former royal editor Clive Goodman in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages left on phones belonging to royal aides.

Lord Justice Brian Leveson's inquiry will hear this week from other alleged victims of media intrusion, including actress Sienna Miller, Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Gerry McCann, the father of the missing Madeleine McCann.

Grant is expected to condemn paparazzi for hounding Chinese actress Hong Tinglan, the mother of his baby daughter, who was recently granted a High Court injunction prohibiting harassment of her and the child.

Leveson has made it clear that the inquiry will hear evidence that the News of the World was not the only newspaper engaging in harassment.

The inquiry was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron in July.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article