Retired boxer Chris Eubank told the High Court today that he was looking forward to a “gargantuan battle” in the phone-hacking litigation.
The former world champion took the ring at the 14th case management conference before Mr Justice Vos in London to say that he was not accepting a “derisory offer” of £21,000 to settle his case.
Reading from notes in a room packed with around 100 lawyers and media, he said that the newspaper group had “made a mockery of the justice system here in the UK”.
Eubank persisted in holding the floor, despite interruptions by Dinah Rose QC, for News Group Newspapers, and the judge, who said that his resisted case was at a preliminary stage and it was not appropriate to try to negotiate in the face of the court.
Eubank persisted in saying that he was confident that evidence relating to his case would get in the public domain shortly and he looked forward to the “gargantuan battle” ahead of him.
“I know that Mrs Murdoch has a pretty good left hook so I am going to ask her to be gentle with me.”
The judge said that his case, which is currently stayed pending trial of other actions, would be dealt with as part of the managed litigation at the appropriate time and he would ask NGN to keep him informed.
Eubank persisted, saying he was not accepting the group's “derisory offer” as they had taken everything away from him.
He said he was fighting on, alleging they had destroyed his marriage and he had been unable to care for his children.
The judge persisted: “There is more than one man and more than one woman here fighting News International so if you will take your seat.”
Ms Rose objected to Eubank's comments about an offer but was told by the judge: “I tried to stop him grandstanding. What's done is done.”