Sienna Miller's stepmother accepts hacking damages

7th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

British actress Sienna Miller's stepmother accepted £60,000 in damages Friday after the publisher of the defunct News of the World admitted the paper tried to hack her phone.

A lawyer for interior designer Kelly Hoppen told London's High Court she had accepted the $93,000 (70,000-euro) payout, after Miller herself settled for £100,000 in May over phone hacking.

Hoppen is just the latest to bring legal action against the Rupert Murdoch-owned publisher of the tabloid, which shut down in July amid the phone-hacking scandal.

Her lawyer, Mark Thomson, told how the News of the World published numerous articles between 2004 and 2006 about the designer. She approached the police two years ago after growing suspicious her phone voicemail had been accessed.

Police informed her in February that she had been a target, Thomson told the court.

He said that "an attempt, which may have been successful, had been made to obtain confidential and private information by the unlawful access of the claimant's voicemail messages and that her confidentiality and privacy were breached."

News Group Newspapers, a Murdoch subsidiary that used to publish the newspaper, admitted liability in April "for misuse of private information and breach of confidence in respect of the 2004-2006 part of her claim," he said.

The designer also alleged her voicemail messages had been intercepted in 2009 and 2010, the lawyer said.

News Group Newspapers and a second defendant, Rupert Murdoch subsidiary News International Supply Company Limited, would pay Hoppen £60,000 in damages as well as her legal costs, said Thomson.

Lawyer Michael Silverleaf, representing News Group Newspapers, told the court the company "takes this opportunity to repeat the sincere and unreserved apology it made in April, 2011".

© 2011 AFP

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