Kerry Katona’s ex-fiancé David Cunningham gets hacker compensation

Kerry Katona’s ex-fiancé David Cunningham gets hacker compensation

The former fiancee of Atomic Kitten singer Kerry Katona has accepted significant damages and an apology from the publisher of the Mirror titles and the Sunday People following allegations of phone hacking.

David Cunningham launched a defamation case against Mirror Group Newspapers in 2018, claiming that his voicemails, from Katona (pictured) as well as other family and friends, had been tapped by the journalists in 2005 and 2006 when he was in a relationship with the singer.

His case focused on 36 articles published during that period, which he claimed contained his and Katona’s private information that could only have been obtained through phone hacking and other illegal information gathering.

In 2019, when it served its defense, MGN admitted responsibility for misusing Cunningham’s private information on five occasions by instructing private investigators to illegally find out things about him and those close to him.

Cunningham and MGN have now agreed to settle the case, with the publisher paying out significant damages and court costs and reading an apology in the Supreme Court.

Alexander Vakil of RPC, on behalf of MGN, told the High Court on Monday that MGN “offers its sincere apologies to Mr Cunningham for the harm and distress caused to him by the misuse of his private information over 15 years ago”.

“The defendant acknowledges that Mr Cunningham’s private information should not have been obtained and used in the way that it was,” he added.

Cunningham, a maintenance engineer, said in a statement on Monday: “I was robbed of a normal relationship with Kerry, I believe because of MGN’s greed to make money. MGN treated me like a puppet as it always pulled the strings. I felt like I was on a game show, with MGN controlling what was going on.

See also  League of Legends developer Riot Games addresses stolen source code hack

“Even now I am embarrassed that MGN knew the intimate details of mine and Kerry’s life. MGN had no right to publish the articles about me and Kerry. I have been put through hell and by withdrawing my claim MGN has got me to relive a very painful period of my life for no good reason.”

His lawyer, Ellen Gallagher of Hamlins, added: “MGN had no right to misuse Mr Cunningham’s private information. MGN’s actions were despicable and there was clearly no reason for the papers to target Cunningham other than because of his relationship with Kerry Katona.

“Unfortunately, newspapers’ illegal targeting of private individuals to obtain their private information and that of their staff, as in Mr Cunningham’s case, was common.

“It is appalling that MGN forced Cunningham to the brink of trial before it saw sense and agreed settlement terms and shockingly that it has taken almost exactly four years for the case to be closed. I am pleased for Dave that MGN has finally been held accountable for its illegal actions.”

Hamlins said it is still acting for a “large number” of individuals in ongoing hacking cases against both MGN and the Sun and former News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers.

Among those still pursuing cases against MGN are Prince Harry, actor Ray Winstone, former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs and media personality Chantelle Houghton. A separate group of litigants includes actor Ricky Tomlinson, Fiona Wightman, the ex-wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse, Ingrid Dupre, the ex-wife of presenter Chris Tarrant, former Coronation Street and Hollyoaks actor Nikki Sanderson, and model Paul Sculfor.

See also  Tower of Fantasy hackers "steal" inventory, but Hotta is in on it

Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, Doc Martin star Martin Clunes and actors Roxanne Pallett, Antony Cotton, Mark and Samantha Womack and Caroline Quentin all settled cases with MGN last year.

Photo: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *