Coronation Street star Antony Cotton settles phone hacking case

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Antony CottonImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Antony Cotton plays Sean Tully in Coronation Street

Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton has settled phone-hacking claims against News Group Newspapers (NGN).

The publisher of The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World has paid "substantial" damages to Cotton as part of the settlement.

Actor Mark Womack and TV executive Natalka Znak also received undisclosed damages from the newspaper group.

NGN apologised to all three for the "distress" caused by the illegal interception of voicemail messages.

'No admission of liability'

Cotton - who was referred to in court by his real name Antony Dunn - played Sean Tully in Coronation Street and also appeared in the TV drama Queer as Folk.

His lawyers claimed that journalists at The News of the World and The Sun hacked his voicemails and used other "unlawful" means to gain personal information for publication.

NGN has made "no admission of liability in relation to… allegations of voicemail interception and/or other unlawful information gathering at The Sun" as part of the settlements.

Womack, who starred in ITV series Liverpool 1, claimed that his personal information was obtained through phone hacking and "blagging or deception" for the sole purpose of use in stories published by the newspaper group.

Huge financial costs

Znak, a TV producer behind such hits as Love Island, Hell's Kitchen and I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here! claimed that personal information she had shared with celebrities, agents, colleagues and family had been illegally obtained by journalists.

Hundreds of celebrities, sports stars and members of the public, who were of interest to tabloid journalists, have won compensation from NGN.

Combined with legal costs, the bill for the newspaper group has run into hundreds of millions of pounds.

There are currently 49 active claims against NGN, with several more waiting for legal action to commence.

One of those cases has been brought by the Duke of Sussex - who is also suing Mirror Group Newspapers for illegal voicemail interception.