Hugh Grant Says He Doesn’t ‘Want to Accept’ Settlement in Privacy Case Against the Sun Publisher: ‘I Refuse to Let This Be Hush Money’

Hugh Grant has settled his privacy case against the publisher of The Sun, Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers.

As reported by the BBC, Grant reached a settlement on Wednesday regarding allegations of unlawful information gathering against NGN. He had claimed that The Sun had employed private investigators to tap his phone in 2011. In May 2023, it was ruled that Grant’s case was eligible to go to trial, barring the phone-hacking allegations. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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Grant posted a lengthy thread on X, formerly known as Twitter, following the announcement of the settlement, saying that he refuses to “let this be hush money.”

“News Group are claiming they are entirely innocent of the things I had accused the Sun of doing — phone hacking, unlawful information gathering, landline tapping, the burglary of my flat and office, the bugging of my car, the illegal blagging of medical records, lies, perjury and the destruction of evidence,” Grant wrote. “As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court. I don’t want to accept this money or settle. I would love to see all the allegations that they deny tested in court. But the rules around civil litigation mean that if I proceed to trial and the court awards me damages that are even a penny less than the settlement offer, I would have to pay the legal costs of both sides.”

Grant continued, “My lawyers tell me that that is exactly what would most likely happen here. Rupert Murdoch’s lawyers are very expensive. So even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching £10 million in costs. I’m afraid I am shying at that fence. Rupert Murdoch has spent over £1billion in damages to claimants and in lawyers’ fees, settling over 15,00 claims in this way. He seems remarkably determined that there shouldn’t be a trial of the facts. Murdoch’s settlement money has a stink and I refuse to let this be hush money. I have spent the best part of 12 years fighting for a free press that does not distort the truth, abuse ordinary members of the public or hold elected MPs to ransom in pursuit of newspaper barons’ personal profit and political power.”

Grant said the settlement money will be “repurposed via groups like Hacked Off into the general campaign to expose the worst excesses of our oligarch-owned press.” Hacked Off is Grant’s organization that was established in 2011 to advocate for a “free and accountable press for the public,” according to its website.

Prince Harry had also sued NGN over similar claims, with his case getting the go-ahead to proceed to a trial in July 2023. The royal recently settled his phone-hacking case against British tabloid The Mirror.

Grant, the star of iconic British films like “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill,” had previously sued NGN over articles published in The News of the World, a now-defunct tabloid. That case was settled in 2012.

In a statement to Variety, a NGN spokesperson said: “In 2011, an unreserved apology was made by NGN to victims of voicemail interception by the News of the World. Since then, NGN has been paying financial damages to those with proper claims. As we reach the tail end of litigation, NGN is drawing a line under disputed matters, some of which date back more than 20 years ago. In some cases, it has made commercial sense for both parties to come to a settlement agreement before trial to bring a resolution to the matter. There are a number of disputed claims still going through the civil courts some of which seek to involve The Sun. The Sun does not accept liability or make any admissions to the allegations. A Judge recently ruled that parts of Mr. Grant’s claim were out of time and we have reached agreement to settle the remainder of the case. This has been done without admission of liability. It is in both parties financial interests not to progress to a costly trial.”

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