News Of The World Phone Hacking: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess Of York, Settles Claim In Court With Damages

The Duchess of York settled her phone hacking damages claim at the High Court on Friday, receiving a public apology and damages.

The announcement came at the latest hearing before a judge in London to deal with actions brought against News Group Newspapers, publishers of the now defunct News of the World newspaper.

Statements of behalf of 17 people who have settled their claims were being read out before Mr Justice Vos on Friday.

They include singer James Blunt, former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston, entertainer Uri Geller - who was present in court - actor Hugh Grant, former Labour Government minister Geoffrey Robinson and Colin Stagg, who was wrongly accused of murdering Rachel Nickell.

Other statements being read out today are on behalf of TV presenter Jeff Brazier, actress and singer Kerry Katona, presenter June Sarpong and anthropologist and adventurer Christopher Terrill.

In January last year, actor Jude Law headed a list of 37 people from all walks of life who settled their cases - with the star's compensation of £130,000 the biggest of the 15 awards then disclosed.

Other payouts announced included £40,000 to former Labour deputy leader John Prescott, £50,000 to Law's ex-wife, designer Sadie Frost, and £30,000 to MP Chris Bryant.

A year ago, singer Charlotte Church and her parents, James and Maria, settled their action for £600,000, including £300,000 legal costs, just days before it was to go to trial.

Actress Sienna Miller was the first to publicly settle her privacy and harassment claim - for £100,000 - in June 2011.

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