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Hugh Grant says he took ‘enormous sum’ to settle suit alleging illegal snooping by The Sun tabloid

People
Hugh Grant

LONDON — Hugh Grant accepted “an enormous sum of money" to settle a lawsuit accusing The Sun tabloid of unlawfully tapping his phone, bugging his car and breaking into his home to snoop, the actor said Wednesday.

Grant said he reluctantly settled because of a court policy that could have stuck him with a huge legal bill even if he prevailed at trial — a reality that could also force fellow claimant Prince Harry to settle.

“As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court,” Grant said on X. “Even if every allegation is proven in court, I would still be liable for something approaching 10 million pounds ($12.4 million) in costs.”

The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Grant and other claimants have alleged that NGN, a subsidiary of the media empire built by Rupert Murdoch, violated their privacy through widespread unlawful activity that included hiring private investigators to intercept voicemails, tap phones and bug cars to access confidential information between 1994 and 2016.

Grant is among several celebrities, including actress Sienna Miller, soccer star Paul Gascoigne and Spice Girl Melanie Chisholm who have settled claims against the publisher.

Attorney Gideon Benaim, who was not involved in the case, said, “Even though (Grant) may have preferred to have fought the case, the financial risks were simply too great and he had, in effect, no choice but to settle.”

The settlement came less than a year after Justice Timothy Fancourt rejected NGN’s attempt to throw out Grant’s lawsuit alleging unlawful information gathering.

“If true ... these allegations would establish very serious, deliberate wrongdoing at NGN, conducted on an institutional basis on a huge scale,” Fancourt wrote in May.

Grant said in a witness statement he was astonished when a private eye hired by The Sun disclosed that people working for the newspaper had burglarized his apartment and placed a tracking device on his car.

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Toni Braxton

Managers reportedly advised Toni Braxton against going public with her lupus diagnosis back in 2010, the singer revealed recently. She said her handlers told her to hide her chronic illness out of fear it would impact her ability to get work.

“People get scared around sick celebrities,” Braxton said on a podcast Tuesday. “And I couldn’t get insured. … The second I was told I had [lupus], I didn’t get work at first.”

The seven-time Grammy winner said she saw at least six doctors before receiving a proper diagnosis.

“Lupus can be very challenging and difficult to diagnose because everything has to line up, it’s almost like an eclipse,” Braxton said.

Nick Cannon, Selena Gomez, Seal and Lady Gaga have previously opened up about their experience with lupus.

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Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce is the host of a new game show called “Are You Smarter than a Celebrity?” for Prime Video, the streaming service said Tuesday. Filming for the 20-episode season has already completed.

The premise is a twist on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", which debuted on Fox in 2007 and was hosted by Jeff Foxworthy.

In Kelce's show, an adult contestant will be given 11 elementary-level questions and can ask a classroom of celebrities for help. The final question is from the 6th grade curriculum and worth $100,000. Only one celebrity is allowed to talk through the answer to the last question.

Kelce, who is dating superstar Taylor Swift, said in a statement he grew up watching game shows and is “excited to be following in the footsteps of so many TV icons.”

He starred in his own 2016 dating competition show for E! called “Catching Kelce."

From combined wire services

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