Entertainment & Arts

David Walliams settles phone hacking claim

David Walliams Image copyright PA

Little Britain star David Walliams has accepted substantial undisclosed damages from News Group Newspapers (NGN) over phone-hacking claims.

The comic issued proceedings against NGN in January after he was told by police last year his voicemail had been intercepted since 2005.

NGN was the publisher of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper.

Mr Walliams later tweeted the damages would go to Comic Relief to aid a Kenyan orphanage.

He was not at London's High Court for Thursday's brief hearing before Mr Justice Mann.

His solicitor, Jenny Afia, told the judge although he was very well known because of his work, the actor strove to live a private life in the public eye and had previously taken steps to safeguard his privacy.

She said he therefore could not understand how a number of articles about him had been published in the Sunday tabloid or how journalists were obtaining his private information.

'Paranoia and worry'

"The process understandably caused him to distrust people, including friends and girlfriends, creating a sense of paranoia and worry," Ms Afia said.

Mr Walliams was approached by the Metropolitan Police in March 2013 about information they had obtained about him, including call data evidence from 2005 and an entry in the Palm Pilot of journalist Dan Evans containing the actor's contact details.

Police also told the actor Mr Evans had admitted he had intercepted his voicemail as well as voicemails he had left for another person.

"In support of his claim for aggravated damages, [Walliams] relied upon his anxiety about trusting people." Ms Afia said.

"The fact [he] did not know how the defendant was obtaining information about him contributed to his anxiety."

NGN admitted liability for misuse of certain private information and agreed to pay Mr Walliams damages and his legal costs.