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Boyzone’s Ronan Keating accepts “substantial damages” following News of the World phone-hacking

Former Boyzone singer Ronan Keating has accepted “substantial damages” from the publishers of the News of the World over phone-hacking.

Mr Keating, now a presenter on the BBC’s The One Show, brought legal action against News Group Newspapers (NGN) in April last year.

He claimed his voicemail messages had been hacked by NGN reporters.

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The High Court in London heard how the singer spotted several “suspicious articles” about his private life.

Ellen Gallagher, representing Mr Keating, said voicemail messages were “intercepted by the defendant’s journalists” giving them access to “private and confidential” information from people including the singer’s family and friends.

Mr Keating said the stories “generated distrust” in his private relationships as he wondered who might be leaking information to the newspaper.

Mr Justice Fancourt was told the singer had accepted the NGN offer to settle his claim.

NGN has agreed to pay “substantial damages” to the father-of-five, as well as his reasonable legal costs.

The group also apologised to Mr Keating “for the distress caused to him by the invasion of his privacy by individuals working for or on behalf of the News of the World”.

Ben Silverstone, representing NGN, said:

“The defendant acknowledges that such activity should never have taken place and that it had no right to intrude into the private life of the claimant in this way.”

NGN did not admit any liability in relation to allegations of phone-hacking at the publisher’s sister paper, The Sun.

Mr Keating said after the hearing:

“I am delighted NGN accepted responsibility for publishing countless articles about my and my family’s private life that should have remained private.

“For many years I was suspicious as to how my private information was being obtained and I am overjoyed that I can now put this episode behind me and move on.”

Since the phone-hacking scandal was exposed NGN has spent hundreds of millions of pounds in damages and legal fees.

The News of the World closed in 2011.

 

 

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