Belfast Telegraph

Steve Coogan awarded six-figure damages over phone-hacking

The actor and comedian said the payout and apology amounted to vindication.

Steve Coogan has received damages and an apology from Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) over phone-hacking.

The actor and comedian was at London’s High Court on Tuesday for the settlement of his action for misuse of private information.

The amount of damages was not revealed at the hearing before Mr Justice Mann, but Mr Coogan confirmed outside court that it was a six-figure sum, most of which would be distributed to good causes.

Asked what today meant to him, he said: “Vindication”.

Mr Coogan’s counsel David Sherborne told the judge that the case concerned voicemail hacking, unlawfully obtaining personal information from third parties and surveillance by private investigators.

“Mr Coogan has identified 62 articles that he alleges are likely to have been produced by use of these means.

“Much of what was published caused enormous distress and significant damage to Mr Coogan’s relationships with those he wrongly suspected had leaked private information or who believed he was the cause of their private information being made public.”

Mr Sherborne said that before bringing the case, Mr Coogan was a core participant at the Leveson inquiry and his participation led to a number of attacks on him by national newspapers.

He also followed with great interest the evidence of MGN and Trinity Mirror witnesses and became increasingly concerned given the allegations of wrongdoing by journalists at MGN that had been made before the inquiry.

Counsel added: “Mr Coogan is clear that if Trinity Mirror had conducted a proper investigation at an early stage then the unlawful activity could have been stopped and prevented the enormous distress and damage it caused its victims, their family and friends.”

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