Dublin-born singer-songwriter Ronan Keating has won “substantial damages” from The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers (NGN) over illegal phone-hacking operations executed by journalists at the now-defunct News of the World.
The Boyzone member Ronan Keating took legal action against the News Corp subsidiary News Group Newspapers in April of last year, and outlets including Dublin-headquartered RTÉ just recently reported that he had accepted the defendant’s settlement offer. Notwithstanding the aforementioned “substantial” descriptor, however, the exact size of the payment remains unclear.
Keating said in the suit that between 1996 and 2011, he’d identified multiple News of the World articles featuring personal information that he hadn’t publicly revealed. Investigations conducted across 2005 and 2007 showed that News of the World employees had unlawfully accessed the voicemails of high-profile figures, and the paper (via its News UK parent company) in April of 2011 issued a public apology and agreed to compensate eight parties that had brought legal action against it as a result of the hacks.
Then, following additional, more serious allegations yet, News of the World shut down in July of the same year, after 168 years in publication. Actress Sienna Miller received north of £100,000 ($138,300 at the present exchange rate) in damages over the publication’s illicit hacking operation, while interior designer (and Miller’s former stepmother) Kelly Hoppen accepted a £60,000 ($82,980) settlement, to name just some of the compensation that resulted from the scandal.
The “This I Promise You” artist Ronan Keating hadn’t addressed the settlement on social media or on his website at the time of this piece’s publishing. After the High Court hearing in which the parties informed the presiding judge that they’d reached an agreement, though, the 44-year-old expressed a desire to put the matter in the rearview.
“I am delighted NGN has now 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,” finished the PAW Patrol: The Movie voice actor, who’s set to kick off the Rose of Lancaster festival with a concert on Friday, August 6th.
Counsel for the defendant indicated that NGN had also extended “sincere apologies” to Keating and acknowledged “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.” It bears emphasizing on this front that NGN hasn’t admitted liability with regard to allegations of phone hacking at The Sun, per RTÉ.
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