British actor and comedian Steve Coogan has been awarded a six-figure sum from Mirror Group Newspapers after they admitted to unlawfully hacking his phone in order to obtain information about him. He says he will be distributing this money to charities.
During the case, his lawyer claimed that 62 news articles were "likely to have been produced by use of these means," which caused "enormous distress" for the actor, who suspected people around him were leaking that private information.
The articles were produced from illegally obtained information hacked from Steve's phone and from third parties, as well as from private investigators doing surveillance on him.
Following the High Court judgment, the 51 year old told reporters that he felt "vindicated."
While publisher Trinity Mirror said it had "no comment," lawyers for the newspaper group said they had apologized to Steve: "MGN apologizes to Mr. Coogan and accepts that he and other victims should not have been denied the truth for so long," they said.
MGN has been down this road with celebrities before, settling over 40 phone-hacking cases with people like actress Patsy Kensit and soccer player Kevin Keegan. Journalists had been utilizing phone hacking in order to listen to voicemails, which would give them extraordinarily private information to use in their stories. These cases were settled similarly — with apologies and undisclosed sums.