J.K. Rowling, Hugh Grant, and More Brit Stars Against Tabloids (Photos)

From Harry Potter author J.K Rowling to Hugh Grant, see notables who say the press has gone too far.

Celebrities will be among a large group of people taking on the tabloids this week in televised hearings on media ethics in Britain. From Harry Potter author J.K Rowling to Hugh Grant to singer Charlotte Church, see notables who say the press has gone too far.

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Hugh Grant

The actor has become somewhat of a crusader against the tabloid press, after he by chance ran into Paul McMullan on the side of the road once, and the former News of the World features editor boasted to Grant about hacking his phone calls. Grant later went back and taped another conversation with McMullan—"a bit of symmetry," Grant said, in this back-and-forth on BBC. When he was conducting interviews condemning the press, Grant claimed his former girlfriend was receiving threatening phone calls. A court recently granted the actor an emergency injunction against the paparazzi, ordering them to stop hounding the mother of Grant's infant daughter.

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J.K. Rowling

The Harry Potter author famously guards her privacy. She's one of many celebrities who have had their phone messages hacked into. And in May 2008, she won a law suit to secure the privacy of her children—photographs of her young son in a stroller had been published in the Sunday Express. The decision has become a landmark one on privacy in England.

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Steve Coogan

After realizing his phones had been hacked, actor Steve Coogan became one of the first celebrities to take legal action against News of the World. The High Court eventually ordered hacker Glenn Mulcaire to reveal to Coogan’s legal team who at News of the World had ordered him to hack into celebrity phones. The disclosure will likely damage News of the World’s original “rogue reporter” defense, proving that many in the organization had knowledge of the hacking. Coogan says, “The culture of people on the shopfloor is a reflection of management. It always is. So it may be that certain people haven’t committed crimes, but there’s a cultural culpability.”

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Sienna Miller

Shortly before News of the World ceased operations, actress Sienna Miller settled a lawsuit with the newspaper for $164,500. Miller’s lawyer had claimed she was the subject of articles containing “intrusive and private information.” News of the World offered its sincere apologies and admitted that any information obtained through phone hacking should not have been published.

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Max Mosley

Max Mosley, a former head of Formula One racing, recently reached a settlement of 20,000 U.K pounds with News of the World, over a story alleging he hosted Nazi-themed sadomasochistic party. Previously, Mosley had argued that news organizations should not be able to publish bombshells about celebrity private lives, without contacting them first. Mosley also alleged that the “very public humiliation” from the resulting scandal contributed to his son’s suicide.

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Garry Filtcroft

Soccer star Garry Flitcroft argued that his life was destroyed after a newspaper revealed he had cheated on his wife. Among other things, Flitcroft claimed the revelation had caused his father to fall into a serious depression, which eventually led to his suicide.

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Charlotte Church

Singer Charlotte Church’s family seems to have been treated particularly badly by the tabloid press. Recent testimony revealed that Church’s mother attempted suicide after News of the World ran a story about Church’s father being involved in a cocaine-fueled threesome. The tabloid then reportedly threatened to run another “lurid story” about the incident if Church did not grant it an exclusive interview. The original story had been obtained through illegal voicemails. In another instance, a then-16-year-old Charlotte begged the News of the World to withhold her home address over kidnapping fears, but the paper refused. 

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Anne Diamond

TV presenter Anne Diamond once asked Rupert Murdoch how he felt about “the fact that his newspaper ruined people’s lives.” Lawyers will argue that since then, Diamond has become the target of the tabloid press, facing headlines like, “Anne Diamond Killed My Father,” as the press paid her nanny for intimate scoops.

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Paul Gascoigne

Soccer star Paul Gascoigne’s ex-wife is also expected to appear before the government inquiry.