Phone-hacking trial: Sienna Miller, a 'brief encounter' and a sincere apology

The trial of former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, the prime minister's former director of communications Andy Coulson and six others began at the Old Bailey on 28 October. The Drum will be in court for the duration of the trial, which is expected to last at least four months, and will provide comprehensive updates on this blog.

The trial is scheduled to examine seven counts that include conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Coverage will be provided by James Doleman, who was acclaimed for his exhaustive and responsible reporting of the Tommy Sheridan perjury trial.

  • Sienna Miller denies relationship with Daniel Craig
  • "I love you" voicemail" the kind she would leave
  • No-one speaking to the press on her behalf
  • Judge apologises for press coverage

Court resumed after lunch to hear the prosecution re-examine their own witness, former News of the World journalist Dan Evans. Andrew Edis QC asked the witness who was originally paying his legal expenses. Evans confirmed it was News International. The Crown barrister took the witness through the notes of his discussions with his lawyers to counter defence claims that Evans had been inconsistent in his account of the illegal activities he had undertaken while at the Sunday Mirror and later, the News of the World. Evans has already pleaded guilty to phone-hacking and perverting the course of justice.

Trial: Sienna Miller gave evidence via a video link

Evans then showed the witness an email between various News of the World journalists which discussed stories on which "Dan is doing special checks". Edis asked Evans: "What did they mean by special checks?"

"Voicemail hacks," the witness replied. The prosecution then showed Evans a schedule of telephone calls made by him in September 2005. The data, Edis noted, was incomplete as it did not include calls made on his two pay as you go "burner" phones as they have not been recovered. The witness recognised the names of Cilla Black, Jade Goody, Louise Griffiths, Mark Waller and Kate Moss as possible hacks on just one day, 27 September 2005. Evans said he did phone-hacking "most days" during this period.

Edis then apologised to the witness that his testimony had to be interrupted while a video link to the USA was set up. This was to allow actress Sienna Miller to testify from New Orleans.

Miller was flanked by a special agent from the FBI to ensure the integrity of the evidence. After affirming to tell the truth, Andrew Edis QC, for the prosecution, opened the section of the evidence by asking Miller about leaving a voicemail message on the phone of Kelly Hoppen, who the witness described as her "ex-Stepmother". Miller said that in 2005 she was having difficulties in a relationship and that it was "absolutely feasible" she had done so. The witness was then asked if she left voicemails for Daniel Craig at around the same time. She said yes as he was "one of my closest friends". The actress said she did attend the Groucho club although she was not sure if she was a member. It was "likely" that she had left Craig a message from there as they were in "constant communication". Asked about the content of the message, Miller said it had been "misconstrued" as she always ended calls to close friends with "I love you".

Timothy Langdale QC, for Andy Coulson, then rose to cross examine Miller. He asked her about the events surrounding her sister Savannah Miller's wedding and agreed that the account of her and then boyfriend Jude Law's movements that weekend was correct. The QC asked the witness about her relationship with the media. Miller said she had better relationships with some parts of the media than others but dealing with them was "part of the job". Langdale asked if the actress ever "talked about her private life to the media". Miller replied that she would discuss some elements but not those parts which made her uncomfortable.

The witness was then passed a copy of the News of the World from 13 February 2005. Miller's attention was directed to a picture of her with a reporter from the News of the World who we cannot name for legal reasons. The witness denied she knew the journalist as all she had done was "reluctantly" pose for a picture with him and briefly ask the journalist to "give Jude a break". Miller said that the majority of the piece was invented and she would never have said she wanted to marry Jude Law. The lawyer asked if Miller ever gave journalists advance notice of where she would be so they could photograph her. "Never ever," Miller said. "Hand on heart, I've taken an oath."

The actress was asked if anyone working for her had been in contact with the News of the World in 2005. Miller replied that the only person she knew of was her publicist, Ciara Parkes, and denied that she knew at the time that people working for Jude Law were talking to the press. Miller confirmed she had been shown some of Dan Evans' testimony by the police in January 2013. Langdale suggested that without this she would have not have recalled the message left on Daniel Craig's phone. Miller said that she had only said that was the kind of message she would have left, it was not an admission of an affair as she always ended messages to close friends with "I love you".

Miller denied she had been in a relationship with Craig at the time and said that there there had never been one, just a "brief encounter". Miller then complained about press coverage of the trial in which she said she had been "vilified" and turned into a "titillating piece of entertainment". Miller said a journalist could get excited about hearing her say "I love you" but that was because they did not understand their relationship or what she was "like as a person".

Another News of the World story from 2005 was then shown to Miller headed "D Day for Jude and Sienna". She was asked if it accurately reflected a conversation she had with Kelly Hoppen. "It's feasible," the actress replied. Miller again denied the barrister's suggestion that anyone she knew was feeding information to the News of the World. "Absolutely not," the witness said.

A final News of the World story was then shown to the witness about her break up with Jude Law and "moving back with her mum". After taking a minute to read the piece the actress confirmed that in "general terms it reflected the situation" in October 2005. Miller again answered "no" to the idea that anyone she knew was in touch with the paper.

Andrew Edis then briefly re-examined the witness. He asked if the October article sounded like it came from the "inside track, someone who really knew you". Miller said yes, adding that it "sounds like my mother".

Judge Saunders then apologised personally to Miller that the reporting in the press had affected her and said that he had done his best to keep her personal life out of the papers but he had no control over reporting

Court then adjourned for the day.

All of the defendants deny all of the charges, the trial continues.

Click here to view more posts from The Drum's daily phone-hacking trial coverage

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