Hugh Grant’s case against newspaper publisher set for trial

Actor Hugh Grant’s allegations that the British tabloid The Sun hired private investigators to tap his phone and break into his home can go to trial, a judge in London’s High Court ruled on Friday, according to multiple reports.

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The “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” actor has claimed that people working for The Sun put a tracking device in his car and hacked his voicemails, among other things, to find stories about his personal life, The Guardian reported. He and Prince Harry are suing The Sun’s publisher, Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers, for unlawful information gathering, according to Reuters.

Allegations made by Grant will go to trial in January 2024, The Associated Press reported, though Judge Timothy Fancourt determined that his claims that the newspaper hacked his phone came too long after the six-year limit, prompting a dismissal of them.

“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 Friday in a statement released by his attorney, according to BBC News. “As my case makes clear, the allegations go far wider and deeper than voicemail interception.”

A spokesperson for News Group Newspapers told news outlets that the company was glad that Fancourt decided to dismiss some of the claims made by Grant.

“NGN strongly denies the various historical allegations of unlawful information-gathering contained in what remains of Mr Grant’s claim,” the spokesperson said, according to BBC News.

Grant claimed that someone broke into his apartment in London in 2011, one day before The Sun published an article that “detailed the interior of the flat, including signs of a domestic row,” The Guardian reported. The actor also said that in the 2000s, private investigators working for The Sun broke into addresses linked to his film production company and his ex-girlfriend, actress Liz Hurley, according to the newspaper.

In 2012, Grant settled a separate lawsuit against News Group Newspapers related to phone hacking at the News of the World, Reuters reported.

Fancourt is expected to hear arguments in Harry’s case against News Group Newspapers in July, according to BBC News.

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