A former News of the World reporter has described listening to the voicemails of James Bond actor Daniel Craig, uncovering his alleged affair with fellow actor Sienna Miller.
Craig was one of a host of celebrities Dan Evans targeted after joining the paper from the Sunday Mirror in 2005. Others included Sol Campbell, Rolf Harris, Kelly Hoppen and Jade Goody, plus Steven Gerrard’s agent, 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, making it appear that a tape of it had been handed in anonymously.
Before the affair story broke, Evans told the Old Bailey trial that he had been bullied to come up with front-page stories.
He said: “I remember being monstered by [unnamed NotW journalist]. He sent me an e-mail saying, ‘If you do not come up with a front-page story you might as well jump off a cliff’.” He recalled receiving “shouting e-mails” written 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 belonged to Sienna Miller, he said.
“I went to work on Tuesday wagging my tail and I told [NotW journalist], ‘Did you know Sienna Miller is having an affair with Daniel Craig?’ ”
Evans put together a story to show Coulson. Another NotW journalist was on to the same story, providing corroboration for it, he said. Asked by prosecutor Andrew Edis QC what the response was to the Miller story, he said: “They said, ‘Good work’.”
He 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 representatives were approached about it. At this point, Evans broke off to address the court, saying: “I would like to apologise to all involved.”
After Law was 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 public relations executive who “approved” it, and it ran in the NotW the following week in October 2005, Evans told the court.
The court heard that Evans has already admitted conspiracy to hack phones at the Sunday Mirror between February 2003 and January 2005, and the same offence at the NotW between April 2004 and June 2010.
He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office between January 2008 and June 2010, and perverting the course of justice by giving a false statement in High Court proceedings.
Former NotW editor Andy Coulson, 46, denies conspiring to hack phones and conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office.
The case continues.