Day 13: A glamour model was paid thousands of pounds a time by the News of the World to pass on information about celebrities she met in London nightclubs, the phone hacking trial heard today. Lorna Hogan, who had a two-month relationship with the reality TV star Calum Best, agreed she received sums of up to £10,000 for supplying the Sunday tabloid with ”gossip and information” about high-profile people.
Giving evidence in person at the Old Bailey about her relationship with Mr Best, whose mobile phone number was found in the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the NoW’s phone-hacking private investigator, Ms Hogan acknowledged that she had contributed to some of the paper’s coverage about Mr Best.
She told the court that over lunch at a London hotel in 2006 the News of the World’s news editor, Ian Edmondson, had asked her for a kiss and tell story on Mr Best, whose child she was carrying after a two-month relationship.
“He [Mr Edmondson] basically put a lot of pressure on me to sell my story and sell my scan pictures of my daughter at the time,” she said. She went on: “They [News of the World] said they would look after me and they would pay me.”
Ms Hogan said she had received money from the News of the World for stories on 26 March 2006 headlined: ‘Lust Like Dad’ and another on 16 April 2006: ‘I’m Having Calum Best’s Baby’.”
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC, lawyer for Mr Edmondson – who denies conspiring to hack phones – asked whether Ms Hogan had received “considerable sums… of £3000, £4,000 ranging to £10,000″ in return for her help.
“Yes,” she replied..
She went on to explain that while working for a model agency called Supermodels she had developed a working relationship with a News of the World reporter called Chris Tate, who would pay her for stories about high-profile individuals.
“He [Mr Tate] would come to my house and sit in his car and pay me cash,” she said.
Earlier, giving evidence, Calum Best, son of the late footballer George Best, was asked about details of him that appeared in Mulcaire’s notes.
Dated 24 March 2006, one entry contained Mr Best’s phone number, his mobile phone provider and ‘Fiji’; Mr Best explained: “That was where we filmed Celebrity Love Island.”
Timothy Langdale QC, Andy Coulson’s lawyer, asked Mr Best whether he had dealt regularly with the News of the World’s show business reporter, Rav Singh, supplying information on other celebrities to Mr Singh and receiving advance notice of stories about himself and other well-known individuals.
Mr Best agreed he had had a “brief” conversation with Mr Singh prior to the News of the World carrying a report on 27 February 2006 about an incident with Elizabeth Jagger in a London nightclub, headlined: ‘Calum Confesses’.
He said he could recall “one instance” where he had given Mr Singh information about another individual.
Mr Coulson, Mr Edmondson, the former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks and the paper’s former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, deny conspiring to hack phones. The case continues.