Elle Macpherson adviser gives kidney to newsman she met over hacking


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The Independent Online

One of the first people to launch a legal action against News International over phone hacking has donated a kidney to a journalist she met while he was covering the case.

Mary Ellen Field, a former business adviser to the model Elle Macpherson, met broadcast newsman Mark Colvin, a fellow Australian, while he worked on the story.

A few months ago Mr Colvin was described as being at death's door and in urgent need of a kidney transplant because of a virus contracted in Rwanda 20 years ago. The transplant took place on 22 March and Ms Field described the donation as "one of the most important things I've done".

Ms Field told the Leveson Inquiry that she had been accused of being an untrustworthy alcoholic and "bullied" into attending a rehab in Arizona after Macpherson and her legal advisers believed she was the source of personal private material. Ms Field, who claimed she was sacked when she came out of rehab, said there had "never been any truth" behind the allegations and quoted a doctor telling her: "We don't accept kidneys from drunken lunatics."

If a hearing in her case against News International later this month goes against Ms Field, she may be left bankrupt.