Phone hacking trial: Actor stunned to learn relative was paid to inform paper

By Gordon Rayner

Jude Law arriving at the Old Bailey  where a jury heard how he confronted Daniel Craig on having an affair with ex-girlfriend Sienna Miller. Photo / AP
Jude Law arriving at the Old Bailey where a jury heard how he confronted Daniel Craig on having an affair with ex-girlfriend Sienna Miller. Photo / AP

A member of Jude Law's "immediate family" sold stories to the News of the World about his then-girlfriend Sienna Miller having an affair with actor Daniel Craig, a jury has heard.

Law, giving evidence at the phone hacking trial, appeared shaken as he said he had never been aware that his close relative had been paid for information by the now defunct tabloid.

In a moment of drama in court number 12, the Oscar-nominated actor was handed a piece of paper by a defence barrister with the name of his relative on it, and was asked to confirm if he knew the family member had spoken to the newspaper.

His voice broke slightly as he confirmed that the family member had spoken to the News of the World. Asked when he had first heard the suggestion that his relative had been paid by the tabloid, he said: "Today."

Law, 41, was called to give evidence for the prosecution at the Old Bailey, where the jury heard he had been a victim of phone hacking carried out by Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective paid by the News of the World. The actor was asked by Timothy Langdale QC, representing former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, about an exclusive story in 2005 regarding Craig's affair with Miller.

Langdale asked if he had telephoned Craig, who was in Baltimore, to confront him about the affair in September 2005, and if he told Craig he should tell his then fiancee Satsuki Mitchell about it.

He replied: "I did, yes ... we have known each other for many, many years so the conversation took on the sort of turns ..."

Law confirmed he had not left any voicemail messages for the James Bond star, and was asked if he was aware at the time that people around him were talking to the News of the World.

He said: "No ... although I suspected it because there was such a consistent flow of information about my life and the people round me."

He said he was made aware in 2011 that an immediate member of his family had spoken to the News of the World, but when Langdale asked him if he knew the family member was being paid, he said: "I've never been aware of that."

He was also handed a second piece of paper with the names of a publicist and an employee who it was alleged were also selling stories to the tabloid via its then-showbusiness reporter Rav Singh.

He confirmed the names.

Asked how he first became aware that his relative had spoken to the News of the World, he said: "It was from the relative - I'm sorry, initially it was from the investigation, and ... when a conversation was had with the relative they came up and admitted what had gone on. Admitted is too strong a word. As I said before I had never heard any money had exchanged until today."

Law said press interest in him had increased dramatically when he was nominated for an Oscar for The Talented Mr Ripley in 2001, which coincided with the breakdown of his relationship with his then wife Sadie Frost.

He said photographers would be outside his door "daily" and "there seemed to be an unhealthy amount of information that someone had that meant they had access to my whereabouts and what I was doing, who I was with".

"I was shocked to see the amount of information that had been accumulated (by Mulcaire). Sadly, it didn't surprise me because it seemed that someone, somewhere had this information because they were able to follow me not just in this country but abroad too."

Coulson denies charges relating to phone hacking and alleged corrupt payments.

Six other defendants who are also on trial deny all charges against them. Mulcaire has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to intercept voicemails.

- Daily Telegraph UK