On 8 and 9 December 2021 the settlement of a 15 phone hacking claims against News Group Newspapers were announced. A series of statements in open court were read before Fancourt J, culminating in a high profile and hard hitting unilateral statement in open court by Sienna Miller.
This claim was against the Sun alone. Her statement in open court [pdf] set out the her belief that:
- The Sun newspaper was engaged in “prolonged” and “substantial” phone hacking, and personally targeted her
- Former editor Rebekah Brooks was responsible for leaking the news that Ms Miller was pregnant, an intrusion which had a profound and damaging effect on her.
- Her statement concluded by say that, given the Sun had agreed to pay such substantial damages and have thereby avoided a public trial she believed that
“notwithstanding that the settlement was reached on the agreed basis of no admissions of liability, this is tantamount to an admission of liability on the part of The Sun”
Speaking outside court Ms Miller, who was represented by Thomson Heath and Associates, said the newspaper thought it was “above the law”. She said the Sun’s actions “shattered me, damaged my reputation – at times beyond repair”, causing her to accuse family and friends of selling information “in a state of intense paranoia and fear”. This is a transcript [pdf] of her remarks.
There was extensive media coverage of this including
- The BBC published an article entitled ‘Sienna Miller settles phone hacking claim with News Group Newspapers’
- The Guardian published an article entitled ‘Sienna Miller says Sun used ‘illegal means’ to find out pregnancy’
- The Independent published an article entitled ‘Sienna miller ‘fully vindicated’ after winning substantial damages from The Sun’
- The Metro published an article entitled ‘Sienna Miller feels ‘fully vindicated’ after settling phone hacking claims for ‘substantial damages’’
On 8 December 2021 statements in open court were read on behalf of another 14 claimants including: