4 Dec. 2020
- Victoria Newton has already been accused of alleged phone hacking at her main paper, The Sun.
- The controversial Editor has been repeatedly named as an alleged phone hacker in The High Court.
- A claim which her company News Group Newspapers denies.
- However, analysis of articles focusing on actor Liz Hurley and late TV producer Steve Bing that she wrote for rival tabloid the Daily Mail, reveal suspicious signs.
- They contain repeated references to phone calls and highly private data.
- Lawyers often describe such traits as the ‘classic hallmarks of unlawful information gathering.’
- The Daily Mail deny any involvement in phone hacking.
THE SUN’s Editor-in-Chief Victoria Newton targeted actor Liz Hurley and producer Steve Bing whilst working for the Daily Mail, resulting in stories that were allegedly phone hacked or illegally blagged by private investigators.
Detailed analysis of 125 stories, written by Newton during a nine month stint at the rival paper early on in her career, has revealed 33 suspicious articles, containing the hallmarks of unlawful information gathering.
Two stories in particular focus on actor Liz Hurley, and her former partner, producer Steve Bing revealing private details about their relationship, and the birth of the son, Damian.
On June 21st, 2002, the Daily Mail published Newton’s story headlined, “So what now for baby Bing?”.
The article features a handful of references, considered suspicious by solicitors who specialise in phone hacking claims, including:
- Specific details of the time period Hurley had been calling Bing’s personal number
- Dates of private phone calls
- Mentioning that communication between them had changed to go through lawyers
- Attributing quotes about specific phone calls to anonymised ‘friends.’
A few weeks afterwards on August 14th 2002, a follow-up story headlined “Why Liz’s baby Damian is still waiting for a smile from Dad” again included several references to specific phone conversations between the two while Hurley was in Los Angeles, where Bing lived.
The issue is important because the Daily Mail’s then editor Paul Dacre later told the Leveson Inquiry under oath, that phone hacking never went on at his paper,
If Mr Dacre was wrong, that is a potentially a serious criminal offence in itself.
Additionally, Newton’s current employer, The Sun, have also denied any alleged illegality by her and has not admitted any wrongdoing at The Sun.
If however Ms Newton was involved in alleged illegal activity at the Mail, it may speak to a pattern of behaviour, which calls the denials from both papers into question.
A spokesperson for the Daily Mail said:
“The articles referred to contain no credible evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever. As we have said repeatedly, the Daily Mail has never been involved in phone hacking.”
Stay tuned for more names and more revelations in our next instalment of our MAILBOMB series.