Reporter tells of ‘Bond’ hacking

A former News of the World reporter has described listening to the voicemails of James Bond actor Daniel Craig — uncovering his alleged affair with actor Jude Law’s then girlfriend, Sienna Miller.

Reporter tells of ‘Bond’ hacking

Craig was one of a host of celebrities Dan Evans targeted after he joined the newspaper from the Sunday Mirror in 2005, the hacking trial heard.

He said then-editor Andy Coulson knew about the hacking and had even given directions to Evans about how to hide the information from Craig’s voicemail, by making it appear as if a tape of it had been handed in anonymously.

Before the Miller story broke, Evans told the Old Bailey trial how he had been bullied to come up with front page stories.

“It happened a number of times. The time we are talking about was a pretty unhappy one for me. I was bullied at work, having quite a hard time.

“I remember being monstered by [News of the World journalist]. He sent me an email saying ‘If you do not come up with a front page story you might as well jump off a cliff’.”

He recalled receiving “shouting emails” written entirely in capital letters from a senior employee who was “very intimidating and scary”.

He set to work, hacking into Craig’s voicemail, he said: “I heard a female voice saying ‘Hi, it’s me. Cannot speak, I’m at the Groucho with Jude’.”

He checked the number on his database and found it was Miller’s, he said. “I went to work on Tuesday wagging my tail and I told [News of the World journalist], did you know Sienna Miller is having an affair with Daniel Craig?”

He put together a story to show then-editor Coulson. Another colleague was onto the same story, providing corroboration for it, he said.

Asked by prosecutor Andrew Edis what the response was to the story, he said: “They said ‘good work’. [News of the World journalist] said to me ‘You are a company man now’.”

Evans said he was told by Coulson to make a copy of his recorded voicemail message, put it in a zip-lock plastic bag and take it to reception so it would look like it had been dropped off anonymously. Then another News of the World journalist picked it up with “mock surprise” saying “look what I’ve found”, Evans said.

Next, Evans knocked on Craig’s door to confront him about the story, and the actor said: “No, no, no it’s not true”, the court heard.

Because of the denial, the story was held over for the following week, during which time, Law’s people were approached about the story.

After Law had been alerted, Evans listened into another voicemail, to Craig this time from Law saying: ‘Thanks, mate. I hope Saski [his then-girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell] doesn’t find out.’

The story was run past Law’s PR executive who “approved” it and it ran in the News of the World the following week in Oct 2005, Evans told the court.

Asked by Mr Edis who knew about hacking from Evans’s direct personal knowledge and experience, the witness gave 10 names of News of the World staff, including Coulson. He also told the court more about his own hacking activities, including picking up a story from Craig’s voicemail about actress Eva Green being a new Bond girl, and a story about footballer Sol Campbell and designer Kelly Hoppen.

He also admitted hacking the voicemail of Shane Richie and Jenson Button.

After Evans was caught out hacking Ms Hoppen’s phone, he was suspended and put on paid gardening leave, he said.

Evans was made redundant when the News of the World closed in Jul 2011 and received the same payout as everyone else, he said.

Evans has already admitted conspiracy to hack phones at the Sunday Mirror between Feb 2003 and Jan 2005, and the same offence at the News of the World between Apr 2004 and Jun 2010. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between Jan 2008 and Jun 2010, and perverting the course of justice by giving a false statement in High Court proceedings.

Andy Coulson, 46, denies conspiring to hack phones and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office. All seven defendants in the case, including former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, deny all charges.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox