Don't let all those feel-good stories about Kate Middleton's shopping exploits and Pippa's bum fool you—the British media knows how to get nasty and has the bag of dirty tricks to prove it.
Just ask Jude Law. Or Sienna Miller. Or any of the growing number of British celebs who are filing suit against the News of the World after alleging a private investigator hired by the newspaper hacked into their private voicemail messages, thus leading to some super juicy (albeit highly illegally-obtained) scoops.
Uh, Rupert Murdoch? This one could cost you…
Law began proceedings this month against the media mogul's News Group media empire, seeking damages for invasion of privacy after learning via the fine folks at Scotland Yard that his was one of the private voicemail accounts that was allegedly breached and mined for column inches.
The height of the hacking was believed to have taken place between 2004 and 2005, not so coincidentally also the time when Jude and Sienna (take one) mania was near its highest (go figure).
As for Miller, she has long since filed suit against the paper and in what is hopefully a sign of recognizing the egregiousness of their misconduct, the paper has already offered her damages amounting to roughly $163,500 to settle the case, which she has yet to accept.
In any case, the alleged hacking is particularly scandalous for both its breadth and depth of deception—last month, the victim tally was said to be "substantially more" than the last count, which was an already-astounding 91—and lawyers for the violated parties are meeting in London to select five test cases to send forth into the courts. Miller's is the likely first candidate, unless she accepts the damages, in which case, Law will most likely be up.
Other notable potential victims include famed interior designer (and incidentally, Sienna's former stepmother) Kelly Hoppen, a lawyer who at one time represented Law, multiple MPs, a Culture Secretary, broadcasters and England footballer (and former Cheryl Cole hubby) Ashley Cole.
The PI at the center of the case was jailed in 2007, as was the paper's royal editor. Since then, three more reporters for the News of the World have been placed behind bars.
The first set of cases are aiming to be heard no later than February 2012.