Let the Hack Times Roll

The United Kingdom’s News Corp. publishing unit is being sued by 43 individuals who claim to be victims of phone hacking. The collaboration is part of an additional wave of victims who claim to be affected by the scandal, which totals to more than 130 individuals since February. News of the World, a now-disbanded tabloid, was served on Sept. 14 in London, though the lawsuits were only made public on Sept. 17. Among the victims are “Dr. Who” actor Christopher Eccleston, model Katie Price, actor Hugh Grant and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.

Hugh Grant

The victims received information of the hacking when details about them were found by the police. Glenn Mulclaire, the tabloid’s former private investigator, was identified as the author of these notes. Mulcaire was arrested for the phone hacking charges in 2007, along with eight other people, including the ex-chief executive officer of News International. The individuals were charged with conspiring to hack over 600 individuals’ voice mails between 2000 and 2006.

The civil lawsuits in this case are being tried as a single court case. The victims hope to establish the common facts about of the hacking conspiracy, as well as setting standards for money damages. While a trial was initially set for February, the court date was canceled after an earlier set of victims reached settlement with the former tabloid.

One possible guest for this story is Hugh Grant, who previously claimed the press has become “toxic” when searching for celebrity gossip. I believe he would have an interesting insight in how the media goes about pursuing stories. As he has allegedly suffered several incidents of invasion of privacy due to the tabloids, I think he might be interested in sharing his grievances. His publicist’s phone number is 212-277-7555. Grant prefers to be contacted via mail rather than email, so there is no legitimate email address. However, his publicist’s address is listed as 220 West 42 Street, New York, NY.

Another interesting guest for the show would be Mark Lewis, the lawyer who represented several of the initial victims. He joined the most recent lawsuit, along with his ex-wife Shelley and their daughter Orli. The individuals claimed their privacy had been breached when a private investigator becag to survey them. I believe Lewis would prove to be an invaluable guest. As he was the lawyer of the first victims and now a victim himself, he would have excellent insight into the scandal. I also think he could have excellent suggestions on how the media can effectively, but legally, obtain the information they desire. His phone number is 020-7427-5978 and his email address is mark.lewis@thlaw.co.uk.

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