American Woman and Black Mass star Sienna Miller has been awarded a substantial payout from the Sun parent News UK after the newspaper obtained details of her pregnancy in 2005 via what she believes to be “blatantly unlawful means.”
The star is one of a number of celebrities including Sean Bean, Australian cricketer Shane Warne and UK footballer Paul Gascoigne to have received payouts this week from Rupert Murdoch’s company, following a scandal that was first revealed a decade ago.
In a statement read out in the UK High Court, Miller said then-Sun editor Rebekah Brooks, who is now News UK CEO, used “blatantly unlawful means” to find out she was pregnant before she had even had a chance to tell friends and family. Miller says court documents show senior Sun journalist Nick Parker had met a “medical records tracer” in July and August 2005 to discuss her pregnancy, before the information was passed to Brooks and Brooks contacted Miller’s publicist.
Miller, who flew from L.A. to the UK for the hearing, accepted an undisclosed payout from News UK, having believed a trial would cost her millions, according to the Guardian.
There has been no admission or finding of any wrongdoing on behalf of the Sun or any of those named but Miller said the major payout is “tantamount” to an admission of illegal activity.
The Sun’s defence disputed this interpretation and said illegal activity of this manner exclusively took place at the now-defunct News of the World, which paid £100,000 ($132,000) worth of damages to Miller in 2011 to settle a separate phone hacking dispute.
According to the Guardian, the paper was forced into hiring a lawyer with the BBC to successfully challenge News Group’s attempts to stop journalists reporting on the arguments over what could be included in the public settlements of three of the phone-hacking victims this week.
The News UK phone hacking scandal rocked the British media when it was blown open in 2011, with high-profile stars such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan also receiving payouts and a trial involving Prince Harry still ongoing.
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