Sir Elton John, Elizabeth Hurley and Heather Mills have come to an agreement over phone hacking claims against The Sun and the News of the World.
Their lawyers confirmed the settlement against News Group Newspapers (NGN) days before a trial was to start at the High Court in London.
Solicitors Hamlins said Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish, actress and model Ms Hurley, model and Sir Paul McCartney’s ex-wife Ms Mills and her sister Fiona Mills had agreed terms with NGN.
They did not reveal what the terms were or how much the celebrities had been awarded – but NGN has repeatedly said it “makes no admission of liability” for The Sun.
Ms Hurley and the Mills sisters claimed their voicemails had been intercepted and unlawful information gathered at The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World.
Sir Elton and his film producer and director husband’s claim was for “misuse of private information” by the two papers.
If the trial had gone to court NGN would have had to answer questions about allegations that those activities were “widespread” at The Sun.
The claims were “the fourth trial in the last 18 months which has settled very close to the start of the trial date”, the law firm said.
Hamlins revealed it will shortly apply to start another batch of claims against NGN from people who were allegedly phone hacked.
The number of new claimants is expected to “equal those who have successfully settled their cases in the current wave,” Hamlins added.
An NGN spokesperson said: “News Group Newspapers has settled cases relating to voicemail interception at the News of the World which closed in 2011.
“Sincere apologies have been offered to the claimants for the distress caused by the invasion of privacy.
“No admission of liability has been made to any allegations of illegal information gathering at The Sun newspaper.”
In September last year, world former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno, Kym Marsh and Les Dennis were among 16 celebrities who settled phone hacking cases with NGN.
(c) Sky News 2019: Sir Elton John, Liz Hurley and Heather Mills settle phone hacking claims