Judge Gives Hugh Grant Green Light on Sun Suit

Actor can proceed with complaint against parent company NGN on alleged snooping
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2023 1:24 PM CDT
Judge Gives Hugh Grant Green Light on Sun Suit
Hugh Grant arrives at the Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Jan. 29.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

Hugh Grant got some good news and some bad news this week on his complaint against the publisher of the the Sun. First, the good news: A London court on Friday determined that the 62-year-old actor can proceed with his lawsuit against the UK tabloid's parent company, News Group Newspapers, for allegedly hiring journalists and investigators to phone-tap him, bug his car, and illegally enter his home, reports the AP. Justice Timothy Fancourt dismissed NGN's attempt to have the complaint tossed, which the media company had justified by saying Grant had missed the six-year statute of limitations on bringing it to civil court.

Grant had argued that he was only made aware of the alleged acts in 2021 from a private investigator's work. Fancourt noted that a January trial would be necessary to determine whether NGN, owned by Rupert Murdoch, had carried out the snooping that Grant alleges. "If true ... these allegations would establish very serious, deliberate wrongdoing at NGN, conducted on an institutional basis on a huge scale," Fancourt wrote in his ruling. He also noted that the accusations could "establish a concerted effort to conceal the wrongdoing." What Fancourt didn't grant to Grant: the OK to sue NGN on voicemail-hacking accusations.

Fancourt said in his decision that Grant was aware earlier of the hacking claims and so could've filed a complaint with the six-year time limit. Still, Grant took the ruling as a win. "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 in an attorney-issued statement, per the BBC. "As my case makes clear, the allegations go far wider and deeper than voicemail interception." NGN has insisted no illegal info-gathering took place at the Sun. Rolling Stone notes that Grant settled a similar case with NGN's News of the World more than a decade ago. (Prince Harry has been embroiled in his own case with NGN.)

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