Trinity Mirror has announced that its subsidiary MGN Limited has admitted liability to four individuals who had sued over allegations of interception of voicemails. MGN has apologised to those individuals and agreed to pay compensation. It has also confirmed that six other voicemail interception claims have already been settled.
The claims where liability is admitted are those brought by entertainer Shane Ritchie, actresses Shobna Gulati and Lucy Benjamin and BBC creative director Alan Yentob.
MGN has also settled claims made by former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, actor Christopher Eccleston, former Beckham nanny, Abbie Gibson, ex-footballer Garry Flitcroft, agent Phil Dale and Christie Roche, wife of actor Shane Ritchie.
The announcement is headed “Historical Legal Issues”, Trinity Mirror said:
“In its interim results announcement on 28th July 2014, Trinity Mirror plc (“the Company”) highlighted its intention to deal with and resolve a number of civil claims in relation to phone hacking. The Company today confirms that its subsidiary MGN Ltd has admitted liability to four individuals who had sued MGN for alleged interception of their voicemails many years ago. MGN has apologised to those individuals and agreed to pay compensation. The amount of that compensation will be assessed by the court if it cannot be agreed”.
Ms Gulati, Ms Gibson, Mr Goran-Eriksson and Mr Flitcroft were respondents to an unsuccessful summary judgment and strike out applications brought by MGN in October 2013 ( EWHC 3392 (Ch)).
Trinity Mirror has previously denied allegations of phone hacking. On 26 January 2012 Sly Bailey, its then chief executive told the Leveson Inquiry that that there was no evidence of phone hacking and no reason to conduct an internal investigation.
A number of other claims against MGN are continuing. It has previously been reported that other claimants with MGN claims include Cilla Black, Davina McCall, Jessie Wallace and Sheryl Gascoigne.