Mirror newspapers apologise to Nikki Sanderson for hiring private investigators

Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN) has issued a court apology to former Coronation Street actress Nikki Sanderson after admitting to using private investigators to obtain stories about her. The publisher’s barrister expressed their “unequivocal apologies” and assured that such actions would not happen again. Sanderson is currently pursuing a High Court case against the newspapers, seeking damages for 37 articles published between 1999 and 2009.

The actress joined Coronation Street in 1999 at the age of 15, playing the character Candice Stowe. She quickly became a subject of media interest, with crowds often gathering outside the studios and photographers attempting to capture her image. Sanderson claims that the newspapers accessed her mobile phone voicemails through hacking and employed private investigators to gather personal information about her.

Andrew Green KC, representing the newspapers, stated that while a small number of records for calls from journalists to Sanderson’s phone numbers had been disclosed, there was no evidence to suggest her phone had been hacked. However, he acknowledged that invoices for payments to private investigators revealed four instances where the firms ELI and Avalon, both implicated in unlawful information gathering, had been used to target Sanderson in 2004 and 2005.

The case is also set to hear from other claimants, including Coronation Street actor Michael Turner, known professionally as Michael Le Vell, and Fiona Wightman, comedian Paul Whitehouse’s ex-wife. All claimants allege that unlawful methods were used to obtain information for stories and that senior executives must have been aware of these tactics but failed to prevent them, which MGN denies.

MGN, which has admitted to widespread unlawful information gathering against other celebrities, argues that Sanderson should have initiated her legal action years ago, as civil claims must be made within six years. In her witness statement, Sanderson referred to this argument as “gaslighting” and described herself as a “young girl” at the time, stating: “They were hiring random men to follow me – they could have done anything to me… I have used the word ‘abuse’ a number of times throughout this statement, and I do not use it lightly, but the fact is these people were in positions of power and I was a child and a young female, and I was attacked by people who were more powerful than me. I did nothing to deserve this treatment.”

World News

Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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