Hugh Grant

Source: Aaron Poole / ©A.M.P.A.S.

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant has settled a privacy case against News Group Newspaper (NGN) which owns UK publication The Sun.

The actor’s High Court claim centrened on allegations of unlawful information gathering including burglary, “blagging” of medical records and landline tapping.

In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Grant said he agreed to settle as going to court could risk the actor having to pay legal costs on both sides if damages awarded were less than the settlement offer.

Grant said: “I would love to see all the allegations that they deny tested in court. But the rules around civil litigation mean that if I proceed to trial and the court awards me damages that are even a penny less than the settlement offer, I would have to pay the legal costs of both sides.

“My lawyers tell me that that is exactly what would most likely happen here. Rupert Murdoch’s lawyers are very expensive. So even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching £10m in costs. I’m afraid I am shying at that fence.”

The settlement amount has not been disclosed but Grant said it would be “repurposed via groups like Hacked Off into the general campaign to expose the worst excesses of our oligarch-owned press”.

This is Grant’s second lawsuit against NGN, the first in 2012 against the now-defunct News Of The World publication which was also settled. The actor has since been an advocate for press reform and sits on the board of the Hacked Off charity.

NGN denies all allegations.