Coogan accepts phone-hacking settlement

Thesp to receive $63,000

LONDON — British actor Steve Coogan is among the latest victims of phone hacking by the News of the World to accept a settlement from Rupert Murdoch-owned News Group Newspapers.

Coogan will receive £40,000 ($63,000) but said after the court hearing on Wednesday, “This has never been about the money.”

He explained he had taken the action to expose the way in which parts of the U.K. press had operated.

Coogan added: “Like other people who sued, I was determined to do my part to show the depths to which the press can sink in pursuit of private information.

“The police and the Leveson Inquiry (set up by the U.K. government to examine newspaper ethics) will be investigating these matters, but at the time when these civil cases began News Intl. seemed likely to succeed in covering up the hacking scandal completely.

“Neither the police nor the government were willing to hold those responsible accountable for unlawful acts.”

Coogan’s case is among more than 50 U.K. lawsuits involving phone hacking that have been resolved.

At least five more are pending, including the suit lodged by Paul Burrell, the former butler to Princess Diana.