Hugh Grant and Sarah Ferguson win settlements in phone hacking case

By Vanessa Frith,

Actor Hugh Grant; Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew; and former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston were among 17 claimants to reach settlements with News Corp. on Friday.

The settlements stem form the illegal espionage conducted by News Corp., most notably Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, according to the Associated Press. Associated Press further reports that the scandal, reveled in July 2011, involved the publication hacking the phones of numerous celebrities.

According to The Guardian, lawyers for News International told Mr Justice Vos that they had in fact intercepted Ferguson’s voice mails for a period of time and expressed their apologies.

The Guardian reported that Grant also accepted an apology from News International and is donating the money he receives from the settlement to Hacked Off, a group that lobbies for reforms of press regulation.

There are still 26 damage claims pending against News International, in addition to the 144 cases that have already won damages, according to The Guardian. Another 169 cases settled out of court.

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