Hugh Grant Explains Why He Is Taking 'Enormous Sum of Money' to Settle Privacy Lawsuit in U.K.

Hugh Grant is settling a lawsuit against News Group Newspapers — owners of the U.K.'s The Sun outlet — over claims it tapped his phones in the past

<p>Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty</p> Hugh Grant on Feb. 18, 2024

Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty

Hugh Grant on Feb. 18, 2024

Hugh Grant has agreed to settle his lawsuit against the publisher of the U.K.'s The Sun newspaper — but he is not happy about it.

After BBC News on April 17 reported that Grant, 63, has settled a civil lawsuit against News Group Newspapers over claims that The Sun had hired private investigators to tap his phone lines in a 2011 phone hacking scandal, the actor shared a lengthy thread on X, formerly known as Twitter, explaining his reasoning for settling.

"News Group are claiming they are entirely innocent of the things I had accused the Sun of doing - phone hacking, unlawful information gathering, landline tapping, the burglary of my flat and office, the bugging of my car, the illegal blagging of medical records, lies, perjury and the destruction of evidence," Grant wrote on the social media platform. "As is common with entirely innocent people, they are offering me an enormous sum of money to keep this matter out of court."

"I don’t want to accept this money or settle. I would love to see all the allegations that they deny tested in court," he continued. "But the rules around civil litigation mean that if I proceed to trial and the court awards me damages that are even a penny less than the settlement offer, I would have to pay the legal costs of both sides."

A spokesperson for NGN told PEOPLE in a statement that it admitted no liability in the settlement and said that settling the case was "in both parties' financial interests not to progress to a costly trial." Both BBC News and the Associated Press reported that a settlement amount has not been disclosed.

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<p>Todd Owyoung/NBC/Getty</p> Hugh Grant on Dec. 12, 2023

Todd Owyoung/NBC/Getty

Hugh Grant on Dec. 12, 2023

Grant wrote on X that his lawyers advised him he "would still be liable for something approaching £10 million in costs" even if each of his allegations were proven in court during a trial. "I'm afraid I am shying at that fence," he wrote, noting that NGN's owner Rupert Murdoch "seems remarkably determined that there shouldn't be a trial of the facts."

The Wonka actor noted on X that he will redirect money received from the settlement to nonprofit groups like Hacked Off, which advocates for reforms to make press in the U.K. more accountable in the wake of phone hacking scandals that also affected actors like Sienna Miller and England's Prince Harry over the last decade. Grant is a board member of that organization, per its website.

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"Murdoch’s settlement money has a stink and I refuse to let this be hush money," Grant wrote.

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<p>Eric Charbonneau/Getty</p> Hugh Grant on Dec. 10, 2023

Eric Charbonneau/Getty

Hugh Grant on Dec. 10, 2023

Grant previously settled a 2012 lawsuit against NGN over articles published in the company's former outlet News of the World, which no longer exists, as Variety noted. Grant's more recent lawsuit against NGN would have gone to trial in January 2025 prior to the settlement announcement, per BBC News.

"In 2011, an unreserved apology was made by NGN to victims of voicemail interception by the News of the World. Since then, NGN has been paying financial damages to those with proper claims," a spokesperson for NGN told PEOPLE in a statement. "As we reach the tail end of litigation, NGN is drawing a line under disputed matters, some of which date back more than 20 years ago. In some cases, it has made commercial sense for both parties to come to a settlement agreement before trial to bring a resolution to the matter."

There are a number of disputed claims still going through the civil courts some of which seek to involve The Sun. "The Sun does not accept liability or make any admissions to the allegations," the statement added. "A Judge recently ruled that parts of Mr. Grant's claim were out of time and we have reached agreement to settle the remainder of the case."

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