Trinity Mirror, which publishes British tabloids Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, admitted that the company’s employees had hacked the phones of four celebrities, and agreed to pay the required compensation, reports said Wednesday. The group also said that it had settled six other phone-hacking claims but did not admit liability in those cases.
“The Company today confirms that its subsidiary MGN Ltd (Mirror Group Newspaper) has admitted liability to four individuals who had sued MGN for alleged interception of their voicemails many years ago. MGN has apologised to those individuals and agreed to pay compensation. The amount of that compensation will be assessed by the court if it cannot be agreed,” the company said in the statement, according to the Telegraph.
Although the group did not specify how much compensation it would pay, the company had reportedly announced in July that it set aside 4 million pounds ($6.6 million) over the first six months of the year to absorb the claims, according to BBC. The company also said that it apologized to actor Shane Ritchie, actresses Shobna Gulati and Lucy Benjamin, and Alan Yentob, a BBC executive, for hacking their phones.
Britain’s newspaper industry faced a crisis in 2011 when Rupert Murdoch had to shut down News of the World after it was revealed that its employees had regularly hacked the phones of celebrities, including the royal family's, for information leading to news stories. The police had also questioned the Mirror’s former editor Piers Morgan, who also used to be a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
Last September, the British police began investigating if the publisher is criminally liable if it was proved that former journalists hacked phones for stories, Reuters reported.