Steve Coogan awarded damages for phone-hacking from Mirror Group

Steve Coogan has been awarded a ‘six-figure’ sum of damages in a case against Mirror Group Newspapers for phone-hacking.

Speaking after the High Court’s ruling in the ‘Alan Partridge’ star’s favour, Coogan said that he felt “vindicated” after his action for misuse of private information, the BBC reports.

The actor, comedian and writer added the undisclosed amount that he was awarded would be shared among good causes.

“MGN, part of the Trinity Mirror group, started my case by apologising for hacking my phone and paying me a sum in damages which they have insisted I keep confidential, most of which will be distributed to good causes,” he said outside the court. “Were it not for the Mirror’s threat to sue for costs by continuing the case I would have sought to scrutinise these activities further to get to the bottom of the extensive cover-up I believe took place.

“Whilst I was able to pursue the case to this point… I fear that many other victims of press misconduct are too afraid to fight for their rights because of aggressive newspaper legal teams and our expensive legal system.”

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan as Alan Partridge

“Much of what was published caused enormous distress and significant damage to Mr Coogan’s relationships with those he wrongly suspected had leaked private information or who believed he was the cause of their private information being made public,” reads a joint statement from Coogan and Trinity Mirror, reports the Press Gazette.

The Mirror Group had no further comment, but their counsel said the group had apologised for its wrongdoing.

The trial came about after the discovery that Coogan had fallen victim to voicemail hacking, unlawfully obtaining personal information from third parties and surveillance by private investigators at the hands of the newspaper group.

“Mr Coogan has identified 62 articles that he alleges are likely to have been produced by use of these means,” Coogan’s counsel David Sherborne told the judge. “Much of what was published caused enormous distress and significant damage to Mr Coogan’s relationships with those he wrongly suspected had leaked private information or who believed he was the cause of their private information being made public.”

This follows information that originally came to light while Coogan was a key part of the Leveson Inquiry into media standards between 2011 and 2012.

The Mirror Group’s counsel Richard Munden added that that “it apologises to Mr Coogan for its wrongdoing over a decade ago and for any articles that were the product of unlawful activity and for the concealment of these activities.

“MGN apologises to Mr Coogan and accepts that he and other victims should not have been denied the truth for so long.”

Meanwhile, Coogan is currently working on a new Alan Partridge series to air on the BBC next Spring – in which he’ll be ‘the voice of Brexit‘.

“Alan would have voted Brexit for sure. Hard Brexit, given the choice. He’s a Brexiteer because the Daily Mail told him to be. Alan’s inept but he’s also honest and well-intentioned. It’s a Little England thoughtlessness. He tries not to be sexist, then is sexist. He’s the kind of person, a bit like my dad, who tries to impress but it comes out wrong.”