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Spice Girl among celebrities who have made hacking claim settlements, court told

Comedian Catherine Tate, radio presenter Chris Moyles and Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm are among the celebrities who have reached settlements after making hacking claims against News Group Newspapers, a High Court judge has been told.

Mr Justice Fancourt was given detail of settlements by lawyers during the latest hearing in long-running litigation at a High Court hearing in London on Tuesday.

A barrister representing News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun and used to publish the News Of The World, apologised.

The judge was told that publication of articles caused Ms Tate “distress” and Ms Chisholm became “paranoid and suspicious”.

Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate was among the celebrities who have reached settlements after making hacking claims against News Group Newspapers (Matt Crossick/PA)

News Group Newspapers has previously settled a number of other claims.

Lawyers representing celebrities read agreed statements at a hearing in the Rolls Building in central London.

They did not give detail of any damages at the hearing.

Former Boyzone member Shane Lynch, actor Mathew Horne and actor Keith Allen, father of singer Lily Allen, had also reached settlements, the judge was told.

Lawyers said Davinia Douglass, a survivor of the London July 7 2005 bombings, had also reached a settlement.

Ms Tate had taken legal action under the name Catherine Ford. The judge was told that she was known by her stage name, Catherine Tate.

Keith Allen
Keith Allen, father of singer Lily Allen, had also reached a settlement, the court heard (Ian West/PA)

Solicitor Christopher Hutchings, who represented Ms Tate, said the comedian had begun legal action in September 2022 and claimed that her voicemail messages “were intercepted” by journalists working for News Group.

“Ms Tate identified a significant number of articles published by the defendant’s newspapers between 2005 and 2011, which she asserted contained her private information,” he told the judge.

“Ms Tate claimed that the publication of the articles caused her distress.

“Ms Tate pleaded that she is a very private person, and she was distressed by the press attention into her and her family life.”

Mr Hutchings added: “The defendant has agreed to join in this statement to apologise in open court to Ms Tate for the distress caused to her by the invasion of her privacy by individuals working for or on behalf of the News Of The World.

“The defendant makes no admission of liability in relation to the claimant’s allegations of voicemail interception and/or other unlawful information gathering at The Sun.”

Former Lib Dem cabinet minister Chris Huhne was at Tuesday’s hearing.

He said, outside court, that he had also settled a claim against News Group.