Katie Price settles phone-hacking claim


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The Independent Online

Katie Price has settled her phone-hacking damages action at the High Court.

The model and TV personality received undisclosed damages and an apology from News Group Newspapers (NGN), Mr Justice Mann heard today.

Hers was one of four settlements announced during the 18th case management conference in the second wave of the long-running litigation.

Other agreed statements read to the court involved Stephen Chamberlain, the former assistant chief constable for South Yorkshire Police and his wife Helen, who is a superintendent with Nottinghamshire Police, and models Lauren Pope and Gemma Atkinson.

They also received undisclosed damages and "sincere apologies" from NGN's counsel, Dinah Rose QC.

None of the claimants was at the hearing in London.

Solicitor Charlotte Ward said that between 2000 and 2011, when Ms Price was the subject of numerous articles in the now-defunct News of the World, she had concerns about the security of her mobile phone.

She changed her number several times and also had her house swept for surveillance devices, although none was found.

In late 2011, she was contacted by the Metropolitan Police who said they had evidence suggesting that NGN might have unlawfully obtained private and confidential information including emails, notes and call data.

After she issued proceedings in September 2012, and before any defence was served, NGN accepted liability and, in December, apologised, paid her damages and agreed to meet her legal costs.

"The claimant considers that she is fully vindicated. Whilst saddened by the entire affair, the claimant accepts the apology offered by the defendant and trusts this will be the end of the matter."

Ms Ward said that Ms Pope and Ms Atkinson, who were the subject of articles in the newspaper during the same period, were both unsure whether someone close to them had been leaking information to the press and this caused considerable distress.

They were contacted by the police last year and, after proceedings were issued, NGN accepted liability, apologised and agreed to pay damages and costs.

Ms Rose told the court: "The defendant is here today through me to offer its sincere apologies to the claimants for the damage, as well as the distress, caused to them.

"The defendant acknowledges that the information should never have been obtained or used in the manner it was and that the defendant is liable for misuse of private information and breach of confidence."