Phone-Hacking Scandal: Hugh Grant, Sarah Ferguson, James Blunt Among Celebs Winning Damages From Rupert Murdoch's Media Empire

Thesp settles up with News International over having his privacy violated by the prying eyes of the now-defunct News of the World

By Josh Grossberg Feb 08, 2013 2:07 PMTags
Hugh GrantPascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It's justice actually for Hugh Grant and a bevy of other U.K. celebrities.

The Love Actually star, the Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and singer James Blunt are among the latest phone-hacking victims to reach a settlement with Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers over unlawful surveillance conducted by its now-shuttered News of the World tabloid.

Per The Guardian, Grant and company each will receive an undisclosed payout after being targeted unlawfully by the paper, whose employees hacked their phones' voice mail in a bid to listen to messages and gather up scoops. The 52-year-old actor and Ferguson are also among 17 people to receive a public apology as well.

For Grant, the victory over Murdoch's minions couldn't have come at a better time considering he's a vocal proponent of Hacked Off, a campaign that's pressing for government regulations to rein in the abuses of the press.

Other notable celebs to settle out of court include Uri Geller, the magician and self-proclaimed psychic who was hacked apparently because of his friendship with Michael Jackson; American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe; former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston; and Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona.

Approximately 25 cases are still pending against NOTW, with the possibility of additional cases being filed against it in the coming weeks.