Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has admitted for the first time that its journalists hacked phones after agreeing to compensate four people.
In a statement, the publisher of the Daily Mirror and other titles said it admitted liability for allegations that it intercepted the voicemails of four unnamed individuals "many years" ago, adding that it had apologised and had agreed to pay compensation.
The group also confirmed six other claims had already been settled for agreed sums.
George Clooney has said he will get behind the camera to direct a film about the phone hacking scandal.
The Hollywood star, who has previously directed movies including this year's Monuments Men, will bring journalist Nick Davies' book Hack Attack to the big screen.
The 53-year-old, who is the son of US journalist Nick Clooney, said he is delighted to be involved in the film, which will focus on the scandal that engulfed Rupert Murdoch's news empire.
He said: "This has all the elements - lying, corruption, blackmail - at the highest levels of government by the biggest newspaper in London,
"And the fact that it's true is the best part. Nick is a brave and stubborn reporter and we consider it an honour to put his book to film."
Mr Davies' book was the product of six years of investigation at News Corporation and News International.
Coulson's co-defendants Rebekah Brooks and managing editor Stuart Kuttner denied any wrongdoing and were cleared of all charges.
Hacking victims included the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, sports stars, a whole host of celebrities and members of the Royal Family.
Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who was a member of the parliamentary committee investigating phone hacking, said journalists told her that the practice was "widespread" within the industry.
Ms Mensch said: "I remember during the parliamentary inquiry into hacking, I was very clear, journalists were coming to me all the time saying this was a widespread practice in Fleet Street, and the further we get into it the more true that becomes."
Earlier, it was revealed that former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was questioned under caution last December about phone hacking but was not arrested.
Piers Morgan has confirmed he was questioned by police about phone hacking at the Mirror newspaper group - although it is not the first he has been linked to the hacking scandal.
In his memoirs, published in 2003, the former Daily Mirror editor appeared to suggest he knew all about phone hacking, and he then repeated those stories to the media when he gave interviews.
Then he appeared before Lord Leveson at his inquiry in late 2012, and said that absolutely no hacking took place under his editorship at the Daily Mirror, going back on all those earlier suggestions.
Morgan is now based in the US, but flew back to the UK in December to be questioned by police, after being approached by officers belonging to Operation Golding which was set up to look into voice message interception.
The Mirror Group deny that any kind of hacking occurred at their newspaper group.
Piers Morgan has confirmed that he was interviewed by officers investigating phone hacking in December.
Metropolitan Police said a 48-year-old journalist was "interviewed under caution", although a spokesman refused to confirm the name of the individual.
In a statement to The Guardian through a spokesperson, Mr Morgan said:
In early November I was asked to attend an interview by officers from Operation Weeting when I was next in the UK.
This was further to a full witness statement I had already freely provided. I attended that interview as requested on 6 December 2013.
Morgan, who is now a presenter on CNN, was editor of the Daily Mirror from 1995 until 2004.
Former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan has been questioned under caution about phone hacking, Press Association sources have confirmed.
"A 48-year-old man, a journalist, was interviewed under caution on 6 December 2013 by officers from Operation Golding in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails," a Metropolitan Police spokesman told ITV News.
"He was interviewed by appointment at a south London police station. He was not arrested."
Politicians at Westminster have been warned not to comment in public on upcoming trials over newspaper phone hacking.
The case has been at the centre of political debate for more than two years, but Solicitor General Oliver Heald has acted to counter the risk of commentary prejudicing the proceedings, which are expected to last for several months.
Parliamentary privilege means a politician can theoretically talk about a live case in the House of Commons without fear of prosecution.
Former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis said he is "glad" that Rupert Murdoch "stood by his staff" after hearing secret audio recordings made during a News Corp meeting.
Phone-hacking charges against Mr Wallis were dropped in February this year.
He also replied to a Twitter user who asked whether he thought Murdoch was "really backing the staff":
In one clip from a secret audio recording obtained by Channel 4 News, Rupert Murdoch is heard branding police "totally incompetent" and damning the Scotland Yard inquiry into corrupt payments to public officials.
"It's the biggest inquiry ever, over next to nothing," he says.
Hear more of the recordings at Channel 4 News.
A News Corp statement said Mr Murdoch was showing "understandable empathy" to his staff.
Defending Rupert Murdoch's pledge to staff, a spokesman for News Corp told Channel 4 News:
No other company has done as much to identify what went wrong, compensate the victims, and ensure the same mistakes do not happen again.
The unprecedented co-operation granted by News Corp was agreed unanimously by senior management and the board, and the MSC continues to co-operate under the supervision of the courts.
Rupert Murdoch has shown understandable empathy with the staff and families affected and will assume they are innocent until and unless proven guilty.