Record’ libel payout after Heather Mills settles phone hacking claims

The campaigner says her feeling is one of “joy and vindication” after receiving an apology from the newspaper group.

Heather Mills and 90 other people have been awarded a ‘substantial’ settlement following a phone-hacking claim against the News of the World.

The businesswoman and campaigner settled her claim against News Group Newspapers (NGN), the ex-publisher of the newspaper, in February for an undisclosed sum.

And today Ms Mills and her sister Fiona Mills received an apology at a hearing in London.

Ben Silverstone, for NGN, said: “The defendant is here today, through me, to offer its sincere apologies to Ms Heather Mills and Ms Fiona Mills for the distress caused to them by the invasion of their privacy by individuals working for or on behalf of the News of the World.

“The defendant accepts that such activity should never have taken place and that it had no right to intrude into the private lives of Ms Heather Mills or Fiona Mills in this way.”

Reading from a prepared statement following the hearing, Ms Mills said her feeling was one of “joy and vindication”.

She added: “My motivation to win this decade-long fight stemmed from a desire to obtain justice, not only for my family, my charities and myself, but for the thousands of innocent members of the public who, like me, have suffered similar ignominious, criminal treatment at the hands of one of the world’s most powerful media groups.”