Charlotte Church, who has settled her phone-hacking damages action for £600,000, says she was ‘sickened and disgusted’ by what she discovered during legal action against News International.
In a statement outside the Royal Courts of Justice, the singer said money ‘could never mend’ the damage done to her and her family, but she planned to put the payout she was awarded towards protecting herself and her children from further invasions of their privacy.
She said: “I brought this legal claim with my parents, as many others have done, because we wanted to find out the truth about what this newspaper group had done in the pursuit of stories about our family.
“What I have discovered as the litigation has gone on has sickened and disgusted me. Nothing was deemed off limits by those who pursued me and my family, just to make money for a multinational news corporation.”
Charlotte said her parents had suffered as much as she had.
“They have been harassed, put under surveillance, and my mother was bullied into revealing her own private medical condition for no other reason than they were my parents. Someone in a newspaper thought that was OK. How can that be, in any right-thinking society?”
She said she was ‘happy’ with the result in one sense, but added that she had discovered that, despite an apology, ‘these people were prepared to go to any lengths to prevent me exposing their behaviour’, including forcing her mother to relive the ‘enormous personal distress’ she had been caused in 2005.
“It seems they have learned nothing, and I would have learned nothing more from an actual trial since it was clear that no one from News International was prepared to take the stand to explain their actions,” she said. “In my opinion, they are not truly sorry, only sorry they got caught.”