Charlotte Church settles phone-hacking claim for £600,000

Charlotte Church and her parents have settled her phone-hacking damages action for £600,000. Credit: ITV Wales Photo: ITV Wales

Miss Church was present at London's High Court for the reading of a statement resolving her claim that 33 articles in the News of the World were the result of her family's voicemails being hacked.

She said she was 'sickened' and 'disgusted' by the newspaper's actions.

Last week, lawyers for the 25-year-old and her parents, James and Maria, confirmed that terms had been agreed with News of the World publisher News Group Newspapers.

Miss Church, who gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics last year, said unwanted attention from tabloid newspapers had a big impact on her life and her family.

She said at the time: "The more and more that was leaked, the more I cut people out of my life, simply to reduce the amount of people that I spent time with so not to have as many leaks. So to find out they were hacked and you'd accused these people - you're left with a feeling of guilt."

Charlotte Church's statement in full

**"Today is an important day for me and my family.

"I brought this legal claim with my parents, as many others have done, because we wanted to find out the truth about what this newspaper group has done in the pursuit of stories about our family.

"What I have discovered as the litigation has gone on has sickened and disgusted me.

"Nothing was deemed off-limits by those who pursued me and my family, just to make money for a multinational news corporation.

"Of course, I was a teenager at the time and my parents were not in the public eye, they just happened to have a well-known daughter.

"Whatever I have had to go through, they have suffered as well. They have been harassed, put under surveillance, and my mother was bullied into revealing her own private medical condition for no other reason than they were my parents.

"Someone in a newspaper thought that was okay. How can that be, in any right-thinking society?

"I wanted to bring the individuals responsible to court, and make them explain why they did this to me and my family.

"I am sure that this is exactly what has driven a number of people to bring legal claims against the same organisation.

"Today marks the settlement of my claim and the day News International admitted their wrongdoing in court.

"I am obviously happy with the result in one sense, especially as I have finally discovered in the last week or so much more about what lengths these people were prepared to go to in order to publish stories about myself, my friends and my family.

"However, I have also discovered that despite the apology which the newspaper has just given in court, these people were prepared to go to any lengths to prevent me exposing their behaviour, not just in the deliberate destruction of documents over a number of years, but also by trying to make this investigation into the industrial scale of their illegal activity into an interrogation of my mother's medical condition, forcing her to relive the enormous personal distress they caused her back in 2005.

"It seems they have learned nothing, and I would have learned nothing more from an actual trial since it was clear that no one from News International was prepared to take the stand to explain their actions.

"In my opinion, they are not truly sorry, only sorry they got caught.

"For these reasons, having achieved all I was going to achieve through this process, I am now focusing my energies instead on assisting both the criminal investigation and Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry as well as others who are seeking to bring to justice those responsible for this appalling behaviour.

"I would like to thank my legal team for all their efforts on our behalf.

"I would also like to make it clear that we were never in this for the money. Money could never mend the damage that was done.

"I intend to dedicate my portion of the settlement to protecting myself and my children from further invasions of our privacy."