British actor Hugh Grant, who is suing Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper arm with Prince Harry over phone-hacking and other allegations, can proceed with some of his claims but others are too late, London’s High Court ruled on Friday.
Grant, famous for film comedies such as "Notting Hill", is suing Murdoch's News Group Newspapers (NGN) for alleged unlawful information gathering he said were committed on behalf of its tabloid, the Sun.
Judge Timothy Fancourt said in a written ruling on Friday that some allegations in Grant’s lawsuit had been submitted too late but others could continue to trial, Reuters said.
NGN had also asked the judge to throw out Harry's lawsuit at a hearing in April but a ruling in his case is not expected until after further discussions in July at which Harry will ask for permission to rely on an alleged "secret agreement" between Buckingham Palace and senior figures at NGN.
Grant – who previously brought a lawsuit against NGN in relation to the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which was settled in 2012 – has become a prominent campaigner on press reform since the phone-hacking scandal emerged.
His latest lawsuit alleged Sun reporters used private investigators to tap his landline phone, place listening and tracking devices on his house and car, burgle his property and obtain his private information by deception.
NGN denies the allegations and its lawyers argued at April’s hearing that it was "unreal" for Grant to have not known enough to bring a lawsuit in relation to the Sun earlier than he did.
In his ruling, Fancourt said Grant had brought his claim in relation to voicemail interception – widely known as "phone-hacking" – too late.
But the judge said the question of whether Grant's allegations of "landline tapping, bugging, blagging, burglary and instructions to private investigators to do any of those things" were brought too late must be determined at trial.