Katie Price settles News of the World phone-hacking claims
The Guardian in London
A former top-ranking police officer and the TV personality Katie Price have received public apologies from the publisher of the now-defunct News of the World as they settled their phone-hacking claims.
Stephen Chamberlain, former assistant chief constable of South Yorkshire police from 2002 to 2006, and Price both accepted undisclosed damages from News Group Newspapers (NGN).
The television actor and model Gemma Atkinson, and Lauren Pope, a DJ who has appeared on the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex, also settled their claims after NGN accepted liability.
The four settlements are part of the second tranche of the long-running civil litigation relating to phone and computer hacking, with 26 claims still outstanding and a further nine not yet served.
The High Court in London heard that between 2000 and 2011 Price was the subject of numerous News of the World articles, some of which contained confidential information. An agreed statement read by solicitor Charlotte Ward said Price "had concerns about the security of her mobile phone and so changed her phone number several times. She also had her house swept for surveillance devices, although none was found."
In 2011 she was contacted by London's Metropolitan Police, which told her they had evidence suggesting the defendant may have unlawfully obtained private and confidential information including "various e-mails, notes and call data".
Atkinson was also the subject of a number of articles in the News of the World, but had not become aware of the source of certain material until recently, the court heard. She was "unsure whether someone close to her had been leaking information to the press"and this caused her "considerable distress", Ward said.
Kirsten Sjovoll, the lawyer for Chamberlain and his wife, Helen, a police superintendent with Nottinghamshire Police, said the couple had been targeted by the papers from at least 2003 when they both worked for the South Yorkshire force. Stories about their relationship appeared in the The S un, the News of the World and another newspaper.
Dinah Rose QC, for NGN, said it accepted liability and had agreed to pay damages and legal costs to Price, Atkinson, Pope and the Chamberlains. NGN offered "sincere apologies"for the damage and distress caused to them.