For over a Year now, people have been asking when civil court cases would happen in the ongoing Phone Hacking fun coming from the UK Murdoch enterprise.
People have come to the assumption that if a bunch of soap stars, UK film stars ,and sports stars and their friends and relatives were in reciept of the papers agents attentions, then it only seems logical that the same techniques were applied to the leading lights of Hollywood.
Finally today we hear news of this activity finally rumbling into gear in the US.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation hacked into the voicemail of Angelina Jolie's stunt double looking for news on Jolie's relationship with Brad Pitt, the body double claims in court.
Eunice Huthart, of Liverpool, England sued News Corp., NI Group Ltd. fka News International Limited, News Group Newspapers, and John and Jane Does 1-10, in Federal Court. Murdoch is not named as a defendant.
Huthart claims that nonparty Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who intercepted phone messages for the Murdoch tabloids, hacked her phone in 2004 and 2005. Huthart was working in Los Angeles then as Jolie's stunt double on the movie, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
Now This woman, a former UK Gladiators champion has had roles as the stunt double for a variety of US Film and TV stars so it isn't impossible that this won't be the first step in an entire US can of worms.
FollowingInternational Gladiators, Eunice worked on the James Bond filmGoldenEye, where she acted as a stunt double forFamke Janssen. She has since carved out a successful career doing stunts in such films asSalt,The Fifth Element,Titanic,The Avengers,The Wolfman and theTomb Raider series. She frequently doubles forAngelina Jolie, most recently inSalt. She has also been a stunt co-ordinator for the filmV for Vendetta and more recently for the new film Alice in Wonderland. She is credited as Stunt Coordinator on episodes of BBC'sParadox.Interestingly this court case doesn't limit itself to just the News of the World, Murdochs former Sunday tabloid, but instead includes a second story form The Sun, The weekday tabloid, which so far has appeared to in the UK courts have only been up for illegally paying off policemen and Prison officers, rather than actually hacking peoples phones.
So what are the allegations in this case?
Huthart is seeking unspecified damages for alleged violation of the Stored Communications Act, violation of the Wiretap Act and intrusion into private affairs, among other offenses.The Lawyer handling this case is one Normal Siegal, the attorney who represented families of the 9/11 victims and there are a selection of further people who may suddenly start appearing in a courtroom near you. (you would think that Charlotte Church and a few associates would be near the top of any list of others who might appear, if |I was asked to guess)
In further news it has been revealed today that Andy Coulson appeared in a Scottish court last week to face the initial steps in his upcoming trial for perjury
The prime minister's former director of communications, Andy Coulson, has appeared in court charged with perjury.
The 45-year-old appeared in private at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday, where he made no plea or declaration and was granted bail.
A contempt of court order was granted at the hearing banning media coverage.
The order was challenged by a number of media organisations and following legal submissions was lifted on Tuesday by Sheriff John McCormack.
This is potentially the most serious charge that is faced, No legal system is going to take allegations that a witness committed perjury in an actual perjury trial that resulted in an individual recieving prison time lying down. If there was a single type of case that you would think a judge would take extremely seriously, then it is this one.
and yet more news. Another Sun Journalist has been charged with making illegal payments to a former Prison Officer
Note that this case spreads the illegal payments story out beyond the Murdoch Group, to Mirror group, the former employers of Piers Morgan. Although in this case it is for a newspaper that Morgan was not the editor of.
The Sun’s chief foreign correspondent Nick Parker has been charged by the Crown Prosecution Service along with a prison officer from HMP Swaleside.
Parker, who was arrested 11 February 2012, has been charged on three counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
It is alleged that Parker paid a total of £2,650 for information which included details about the "movement of prisoners, prison procedures and methods used by prisoners to smuggle items into prison". It is also alleged that the same prison office sold information to Trinity Mirror's People newspaper for £900.
Brit Article on the US court case
Thephone-hacking scandal that shuttered Rupert Murdoch’s bestselling British Sunday paper The News of the World and led to the resignation and arrests of several of his top U.K. executives has now officially crossed the Atlantic.
A civil suit filed June 13 by Eunice Huthart, a former body double for Angelina Jolie, claims that messages from both the actress and members of Huthart’s family were intercepted and occasionally deleted by employees of News Corp.’s London subsidiary who were “hacking her cellular telephone as a means to obtain information about Ms Jolie." She seeks damages for violations of both Californian and federal law over “intrusion into private affairs.”