LONDON (Reuters) - A High Court judge on Wednesday ordered police to hand over information to actor Hugh Grant or former girlfriend Jemima Khan which could show phone messages between them were intercepted by a private investigator working for a newspaper.
The ruling by judge Geoffrey Vos followed a 20-minute hearing at the London court where neither Grant nor campaigner Khan were present, according to the Press Association.
The couple split in 2007 after a three-year relationship.
Grant has been a vociferous critic of News Corp since the phone-hacking scandal broke earlier this month, and is a member of the Hacked Off lobby group which has campaigned for a rigorous inquiry into illegal eavesdropping by newspapers.
Vos said police should disclose information relating to messages allegedly intercepted by private investigator Glenn Mulcaire and used in the News of the World and other newspapers.
Several celebrities have been targeted by the now-defunct weekly tabloid, including actress Sienna Miller who settled a phone-hacking lawsuit against it in June.
News Corp’s News of the World was abruptly closed this month when the scale of its involvement in phone hacking, and its targeting of ordinary people and not just the rich and famous, began to emerge.
Four years ago Mulcaire and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman were given jail terms after the Old Bailey heard that they plotted to hack into royal aides’ voicemail.
Fresh police inquiries have started since then and a number of high-profile figures have made civil damages claims against News Group Newspapers, the publisher of the News of the World.
The Metropolitan Police did not oppose Vos’s order. Lawyers representing Grant and Khan said police had indicated that telephone messages may have been intercepted.
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Louise Ireland