LONDON – A London court docket on Friday rejected an try by the writer of The Solar tabloid to throw out a lawsuit by actor Hugh Grant alleging that journalists and investigators it employed illegally snooped on him.
Justice Timothy Fancourt stated a trial in January should decide whether or not The Solar had carried out illegal info gathering that included tapping his landline and bugging his automotive and breaking into his dwelling.
Information Group Newspapers, which owns The Solar, had argued that Grant did not deliver his claims inside a six-year time restrict. The decide dismissed Grant’s cellphone hacking claims on time limitation grounds, however stated the case might proceed on the opposite allegations.
“It was only on seeing invoices disclosed … in 2021 that Mr. Grant believed that private investigators (PIs) had been instructed by The Sun to target him in various ways, particularly in 2011,” Fancourt wrote.
The case was argued during a hearing last month that also included phone hacking allegations by Prince Harry against News Group, Rupert Murdoch’s British newspapers.
Fancourt’s ruling didn’t address the Duke of Sussex’s case because he wants to hear more about Harry’s allegations that he was prevented from bringing his claims much sooner because of a “secret agreement” between Buckingham Palace and Murdoch’s papers.
Harry alleged that the royal family had agreed to settle their cases with NGN, publisher of the defunct News of the World, out of court after related litigation died down. He said the deal called for an apology from the newspapers.
In court papers, Harry said that he only brought his lawsuit when efforts to expedite that settlement failed. He said his brother, Prince William, heir to the throne, subsequently received a “huge” settlement over phone hacking allegations against News Group.
NGN has denied there was a “secret agreement.” The palace hasn’t responded to messages seeking comment on that or William’s alleged settlement.
A spokesperson for News Group issued a statement Friday saying that it was pleased that the court threw out Grant’s phone hacking allegations.
“NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information-gathering contained in what remains of Mr. Grant’s claim,” the assertion stated.
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