PRIVACY – celebrities receive Mirror hacking payout

A group of celebrities, made of up of actress Jennifer Ellison, model Danielle Lloyd and footballers Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, have received damages and apologies from MGN Ltd, the publisher of The Daily Mirror, over phone hacking.

The settlements are the latest in a series reached by claimants in long-running litigation against the publisher of the tabloid newspaper, and follow earlier agreements reached with more than 40 celebrities, which included a six-figure payout to actor Hugh Grant earlier this year.

A solicitor who was representing the celebrities, Mark Elder of Shoosmiths, told a judge at the High Court that 34-year-old Ms Lloyd was ‘distressed and appalled’ to learn that she had been targeted.

Ms Ellison, also 34, believed the activity had adversely affected her career as well as having an emotional impact.

MGN’s actions had a ‘massive emotional impact’ on Mr Yorke, 46, affected his life in many ways and significantly damaged his reputation.

They also had an adverse impact on 46-year-old Mr Cole’s life in many ways, including leading him to distrust people close to him.

MGN apologised for any damage or distress suffered as a result of the unlawful interception of voicemail messages more than a decade ago.

Mr Elder said: ‘We’re pleased to have resolved these claims against MGN on behalf of our clients.

‘Our clients may be in the public eye, but they have a right to a private life, which should be respected.

‘A settlement has been reached with MGN and our clients are happy with the outcome.’

Although these are the latest in a number of high-profile settlements, including one reached on the eve of a trial against News Group Newspapers, the publisher of The Sun, the phone hacking litigation continues against both publishers.