The actor and campaigner Hugh Grant is to join the lengthening list of celebrities in suing News Corporation for phone hacking, and has pledged to give any damages he is awarded to helping fellow victims. The 51-year-old is believed to feature in police evidence suggesting the unlawful interception of communications, and has instructed solicitors to submit a claim within days.
Grant confirmed yesterday that he is to sue, and has earmarked any award for helping the cause of lower-profile victims of press intrusion. Grant told The Independent on Sunday: "If I am successful in my legal action, then I hope that the court makes the billionaire owner of a multibillion-pound corporation write the cheque directly to Hacked Off, and helps empower them to ensure we have a free and responsible press in the future. Then Mr Murdoch can return to his favourite pastime of staring at photos of naked princes.
"Hacked Off is a small, not-for-profit campaign group. News Corporation is a massive multi-national business with dubious business practices. Any redistribution of cash from large to small would be a good thing. There are many victims of phone hacking more worthy than so-called celebrities like me – ordinary members of the public whose lives have been ruined by press malpractice and illegality. They deserve the compensation they have received. But I want to make it clear that someone in my position who does not need the money is still determined to ensure that News International are seen to make reparations for what they did, especially as they continue to argue that the tabloid press needs no reform."
The deadline for claims for compensation is 14 September.