National: Grant wins substantial damages over phone hacking by NoWJohn Plunkett and Lisa O'CarrollGuardian
Hugh Grant has received substantial damages from News International after settling his claim for phone hacking by the News of the World.
The actor and press reform campaigner's solicitor confirmed yesterday the settlement for an undisclosed amount had been reached with Rupert Murdoch's News Group Newspapers, the News International subsidiary which published the Sunday tabloid until its closure last year. Grant will donate the money to the Hacked Off campaign for press reform, of which he is a prominent backer, along with an additional personal donation, said his solicitor, Mark Thomson.
"Hugh Grant has today settled his claims for damages and other legal remedies arising out of the unlawful activities of News of the World journalists and others over a number of years," said Thomson. "News Group Newspapers have agreed to pay him a substantial sum by way of damages. He has instructed us to donate all of his damages plus an additional payment from him to the Hacked Off campaign for a free and accountable media. This will be done as soon as payment is received."
Thomson said a statement would be made in open court in the new year. Grant was one of 178 people suing the publisher in a second wave of civil litigations lodged in the high court.
He is among more than 20 people who have settled their claims out of court since October. Among those still suing are Cherie Blair and Wayne Rooney.
Grant first mooted the possibility of legal action over phone hacking in May last year after he said he had been shown evidence by police that his phone had been hacked.
A high-profile campaigner for press reform, Grant told the Leveson inquiry last year that hundreds of celebrities and actors would forgo damages and apologies if newspapers would "just make an undertaking never to mention their names again".
In a separate legal action, Tinglan Hong, the mother of Grant's daughter, is suing Associated Newspapers, the publisher of the Daily Mail, for aggravated damages over a series of articles she claims invaded her privacy.
Grant said this week that he would fight for a new press law until the general election in 2015.
Hugh Grant has instructed solicitors to donate his payout to the Hacked Off campaign for a free and accountable press