British actor Jude Law is suing The Sun for allegedly hacking his phone in what is thought to be the first such legal action against Rupert Murdoch’s best-selling daily tabloid.
The paper’s parent company, News International, dismissed it as a “deeply cynical” attempt to draw The Sun into the scandal which has engulfed Murdoch’s media empire and forced the closure of its sister paper, the News of the World.
Law was already suing the News of the World over phone hacking, and his former girlfriend, actress Sienna Miller, won an apology and £100,000 in damages and legal costs from the Sunday tabloid.
News International said Law, the Oscar-nominated star of Cold Mountain and Sherlock Holmes, had launched action alleging four Sun articles in 2005 and 2006 were based on information taken from his voicemails.
“We believe this is a deeply cynical and deliberately mischievous attempt to draw The Sun into the phone-hacking issue,” a News International statement said.
“The allegations made in this claim have been carefully investigated by our lawyers and the evidence shows that they have no foundation whatsoever.
“In particular, the claimant’s solicitors have relied on a reference in documentation that they should be well aware has nothing to do with a case against The Sun.
“Also, another article complained of merely reiterated information which was already in the public domain. The claim will be defended vigorously.”
Law’s lawyers confirmed he was taking action against The Sun, and rejected News International’s “ridiculous” arguments.
“We have no comment to make about this claim, which will be considered by the court in due course,” said a statement from the actor’s lawyers, Atkins Thomson.
“Accusations of cynicism and mischief making by News International are ridiculous.
“By their own admission, News International have misled the police, parliament and the public for nearly five years about the extent of the wrongdoing by their journalists and executives. Their record speaks for itself.”