The UK Mirror owned up to phone hacking accusations this week, paying settlements to actors, sports figures, a media executive and a nanny.
That means, News Corp wasn’t the only media company in the UK to have hacked phones. News Corp’s News of the World prompted the phone hacking scandal, the Leveson Inquiry, investigations into the press and police, the closure of News of the World, the firings, resignations and arrests of many and more.
The Mirror’s publisher, Trinity Mirror, paid 10 victims after being accused to phone hacking. It was the first time Trinity Mirror confirmed hacking occurred at its papers, the BBC reported.
Specifically, the company “admitted liability” to BBC executive Alan Yentob and actors Shane Richie, Lucy Benjamin and Shobna Gulati.
It also settled lawsuits from former football manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, actor Christoper Eccleston, former football player Garry Flitcroft, actor Shane Richie’s wife Christie Roche and agent Phil Dale, and former David Beckham family nanny Abbie Gibons, the Guardian reported.
In a statement, Trinity Mirror said:
“The company today confirms that its subsidiary MGN Ltd has admitted liability to four individuals who had sued MGN for alleged interception of their voicemails many years ago.
“MGN has apologised to those individuals and agreed to pay compensation. The amount of that compensation will be assessed by the court if it cannot be agreed.
“The company can also confirm that six other voicemail interception claims have already been settled for agreed sums.”
Lawyer Mark Lewis represented some of the ten people who successfully won payouts.
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He told iMediaEthics by e-mail:
“[Trinity Mirror] has repeated the mantra for over 3 years that its journalists obey the criminal law and the Code of Ethics of the Press Complaints Commission.
“Over 12 months ago it moved to dismiss the claims on evidence that now is discredited.
“There is still a long way to go and discovery to be given to uncover the unlawful practises.
“Eventually the truth will come out about who knew what and when they knew it.”
The ten settlements aren’t the end of phone hacking problems for the Mirror, though. The Guardian reported that there may be about 30 more cases. The Guardian says:
“There are understood to be 19 further individuals who have issued claims against Trinity Mirror with a further 10 known to be considering further action.”
In 2012, the Mirror said it was investigating accusations of hacking after four people claimed the Mirror hacked their phones.
iMediaEthics has written to Trinity Mirror for comment.