THE Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson has settled her phone hacking damages claim at the London High Court today, receiving a public apology and damages.
Statements of behalf of 17 people who have settled their claims were being read out before Mr Justice Vos today.
They include singer James Blunt, former Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston, entertainer Uri Geller - who was present in court - actor Hugh Grant, former Labour Government minister Geoffrey Robinson and Colin Stagg, who was wrongly accused of murdering Rachel Nickell.
Other statements being read out today are on behalf of TV presenter Jeff Brazier, actress and singer Kerry Katona, presenter June Sarpong and anthropologist and adventurer Christopher Terrill.
In January last year, actor Jude Law headed a list of 37 people from all walks of life who settled their cases - with the star's compensation of £130,000 the biggest of the 15 awards then disclosed.
Actress Sienna Miller was the first to publicly settle her privacy and harassment claim - for £100,000 - in June 2011.
David Sherborne, counsel for the Duchess of York, told Mr Justice Vos: "During the period from 2000 until 2006 the claimant experienced unusual activity on her mobile phone.
"The claimant also noticed that journalists and/or photographers appeared to know her location in advance, meaning that when she arrived at functions or planned events, it was often the case that journalists or photographers were already present."
She commenced proceedings last year for "misuse of private information, breach of confidence and harassment in respect of the interception of her telephone messages".
He told the court that the Duchess was "targeted" and voicemail messages on her mobile phone "were intercepted for the News of the World over a considerable period of time".
He added: "I am here today to announce that NGN has accepted liability and agreed to pay damages to the claimant plus her legal costs."
Anthony Hudson, for NGN, told the judge: "NGN is here today through me to offer its sincere apologies to the claimant for the damage and the distress caused to her by the accessing of her voicemail messages and obtaining confidential information.
"NGN acknowledges that the information should never have been obtained unlawfully in the manner in which it was, and that NGN is liable for misuse of private information and breach of confidence."