Hugh Grant has been given permission to take his claim against a newspaper publisher to trial.
The Notting Hill actor is suing executives at News Group Newspapers (NGN) for allegedly paying private investigators to tap his phone, bug his house and car, and break into his home to unlawfully obtain stories about him for The Sun.
In a written ruling on Friday, Judge Timothy Fancourt of London’s High Court ruled that Grant can proceed with most of his claims. However, he ruled that Grant’s allegations of voicemail interception, also phone hacking, were made after the six-year time limit for such legal action.
The judge decided that the question of whether Grant’s other claims were made too late should be decided at a trial in January 2024.
“I am pleased that my case will be allowed to go to trial, which is what I have always wanted – because it is necessary that the truth comes out about the activities of The Sun,” Grant said in a statement, reports Reuters. “As my case makes clear, the allegations go far wider and deeper than voicemail interception.”
A spokesperson for NGN said they were “pleased” that the British actor had been barred from proceeding with his phone-hacking claim.
They added, “NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information-gathering contained in what remains of Mr Grant’s claim.”
NGN’s lawyers had tried to stop the claim from going to trial by arguing that the 62-year-old took too long to file it. However, he insisted that it took so long because the company allegedly hid its employees’ behaviour.
Grant previously settled a lawsuit against NGN in 2012 over allegations of phone hacking in relation to its now-defunct newspaper, News of the World.
– Cover Media