Church accepts £600,000 for hacking but rejects apology
After she and family were harassed, singer says NotW was only sorry it got caught
SINGER Charlotte Church says she was "sickened and disgusted" by what she discovered during her legal case against News International, which has ended with a payout of £600,000 to her and her parents covering legal costs and compensation for phone hacking and harassment.
The High Court heard that the now defunct Sunday tabloid the News of the World began hacking the child-star's phone when she was just 16, and that it published 33 stories about her and her family that used information from voicemail messges.
Church's mother, Maria, was even "coerced" into giving an interview to the paper about an attempted suicide after the paper got access to her medical records.
"The newspaper also carried out surveillance on her parents and employed people to 'watch their every move'," reports The Times. "The singer’s settlement is believed to have been higher than previous cases as she alleged that the hacking had begun when she was a teenager."
Outside court the Welsh singer said: "Nothing was deemed off-limits by those who pursued me and my family, just to make money for a multi-national news corporation."
Although News Group Newspapers, the arm of News International that published the News of the World, issued a "sincere" apology, Church added: "In my opinion, they are not truly sorry, only sorry that they got caught."
Last year Church told the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics how she was pursued by photographers and had been asked to sing at the wedding of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng in 1999 in return for "favourable" coverage in his newspapers, including the News of the World.
The Guardian reports that the matter might not be over for News International and the case could resurface in America. "In a separate development, it has emerged that telephone numbers for two executives promoting Church in the US have been found in the notes of Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who worked for the News of the World for several years up to mid-2006," said the paper.