Day 50, Part 2: Sienna Miller said today that she probably would have left the sort of phone messages that a former News of the World reporter claimed he hacked with the knowledge of the paper’s editor Andy Coulson.
Giving evidence at the phone hacking trial, the actress said that although it was hard to recall specific messages from years ago it was “absolutely feasible” that she would have left voicemails for her stepmother Kelly Hoppen in July 2005.
She also said that she frequented the Groucho Club and ended her messages to Daniel Craig and other friends “I love you”.
In testimony this week, ex-NoW reporter-turned-prosecution witness Dan Evans claimed he hacked messages of Mr Craig and Ms Hoppen for stories about Ms Miller printed in the NoW. In particular, he said a message from Ms Miller at the Groucho Club to Mr Craig saying “I love you” was the origin of a NoW exclusive in October 2005 revealing their affair.
Mr Coulson’s defence team suggested that the News of the World had two legitimate sources for stories about Ms Miller and her then boyfriend, Jude Law, including information from those close to the stars.
Giving evidence by video-link from New Orleans, Ms Miller was asked by Mr Coulson’s QC, Timothy Langdale, about a picture of her with one of the NoW’s reporters – and suggested that she had been in contact with him “on a number of occasions.”
Ms Miller replied: “No, I never had contact with [him]. The picture was taken at a party when he asked to have a picture with me.” She added that she had “obliged reluctantly” with the photo request and only had a brief “off the record” conversation with the reporter, in which she urged him and his paper to lay off Mr Law.
But her trust in the reporter had been “abused”, she told the court, saying of the article that appeared in the News of the World: “The majority of it has been invented.”
Ms Miller told the Old Bailey: “There was no way I would ever have said: ‘I love him and I want to marry him’ to a News of the World journalist.”
Asked by Mr Langdale whether she had ever told the press where she was going, she told the court: “Never, ever.”
Of her communications with Mr Craig, she said she would have ended her messages “I love you” because that was how she signed off her messages to friends and Mr Craig was one of her oldest friends.
“It was never a relationship,” she added. “It was a very brief encounter.” “It’s kind of been turned into this titilating piece of information and I really regret it’s been allowed to be analysed in the way it has.”
Considering that she used “I love you” in a friendly way, Mr Langdale said, would anyone listening to that message have thought that it was evidence of an affair? Ms Miller replied: “I think if a journalist got their hands on the information they would find it titilating and it might inspire [a story]… So it would have seemed like a story.”
She said she could not remember if she had cried in a phone message to Ms Hoppen but added: “It’s feasible that she would have offered advice to me at that time.”
Mr Langdale asked if she was aware of anybody associated with her passing information to the media? “No,” she replied.
At the end of the 50-minute video-link, Mr Justice Saunders said he was “very sorry” to the actress if media reporting of her private life at the trial “has caused you distress”, but said the information was relevant the case.
All defendants including Mr Coulson deny all charges. The trial resumes on Monday.