Jude Law settles lawsuit against News International for phone hacking
Jude Law and others sued News of the World, after it was found that the British tabloid had tapped his phone and listened to voicemails in an attempt to gather exclusive information and the case has finally been settled.
The best-selling Sunday tabloid is faced about 20 lawsuits after allegedly hacking several other celebrities, politicians and sports personalities.
Law's case was one of four "test cases" considered by Britain High Court judge Justice Geoffrey Vos who will establish the range of damages to award the victims, in an effort to avoid going to court for each one.
The "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" actor, who received a reported $200,000 plus undisclosed legal fees, issued a statement regarding the hacking and the effect it had on his personal life.
"Now they are at an end, I can finally speak about what went on," read Law's statement, according to the Associated Press. "For several years leading up to 2006, I was suspicious about how information concerning my private life was coming out in the press. I changed my phones, I had my house swept for bugs, but still the information kept being published. I started to become distrustful of people close to me."
News of the World was monitoring Law between 2003 and 2006, during which time it was revealed that the actor had an affair with Daisy Wright, the nanny of his three children with ex-wife Sadie Frost, who was also targeted by phone hackers. News of the affair ended his engagement to his on-and-off again girlfriend Sienna Miller. The pair got back together in 2006 and 2009 before ending the relationship in February 2011. Law told the court that his goal was justice, not monetary compensation.
"I have now achieved everything I wanted from this litigation," Law continued. "The News of the World has finally made admissions about the extent of their illegal activity and they have acknowledged that what they did was wrong. They have also finally admitted that what they did to me personally amounted to harassment and that it should never have happened... For me this case was never about money. It was about standing up for myself and find out what had happened... what News Group did was an abuse of its freedoms. They have overstepped the mark for many years."
News International, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns News of the World offered compensation to some of those who've made claims, including Sienna Miller, who received a reported payout of $164,500 in damages and Law's ex-wife Sadie Frost was awarded a reported $77,000.
Other targets included Cheryl Cole's ex husband Ashley Cole and Guy Pelly, a close friend of Prince William and Prince Harry.
In 2007, a reporter at News Corp was jailed for phone-hacking and was later hired by Prime Minister David Cameron's office. The reporter resigned earlier this year when the investigation was reopened. Three News of the World journalists have been arrested since January, The Guardian reports.
The Guardian also listed a few other claimants, including comedian Steve Coogan, former footballer Paul Gascoigne, Max Clifford's former assistant Nicola Phillips, and Mary-Ellen Field, former adviser to model Elle Macpherson. They estimate that £20m has been set aside for payouts.
Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many of the victims said that the fight against Murdoch's media empire is far from over as less than one percent of the hacked victims have settled their cases. There are another ten cases due to go to court next month.