Charlotte Church secures £600k phone-hacking settlement

By Alex Stevenson

Charlotte Church and her parents have won a £600,000 settlement over stories secured through phone-hacking claims by News Group Newspapers.

The publisher of the News of the World tabloid, which shut down last year at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, is offering Ms Church and her parents James and Maria a public apology.

They are also receiving £300,000 in damages and £300,000 in legal costs over the 33 newspaper articles which were the product of hacked voicemails.

Speaking outside the royal courts of justice, Ms Church denied being motivated by money.

"I wanted to bring the individuals responsible to court and make them explain why they did this to me and my family," she said.

"In my opinion, they are not truly sorry – they are only sorry they got caught."

A statement read out in high court this morning stated: "Charlotte was… regularly harassed and even placed under surveillance by the News of the World and those paid by them.

"They followed the every move of a teenage girl. We will never of course now know the full extent of what they did, because as we are aware, much of the data is now destroyed."

Ms Church, now 26, was the subject of intense and scrutiny when she was just 16 years old.

Her mother was also pursued "at her lowest ebb", the statement confirmed. She had been "coerced" into an interview about a recent attempted suicide after journalists had discovered her medical history after hacking voicemails.