A private investigator right in the middle of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal is again in the spotlight as he seeks legal fees from his former employer. Glenn Mulcaire is asking a judge for a declaration that New Group Newspapers, the parent company of News of the World, cannot terminate a provision in his contract stating the company would pay his legal fees.
Mr. Mulcaire spent six months in jail for hacking into celebrities’ voicemails to get stories for News of the World. Mr. Mulcaire is also defending himself from at least 65 civil lawsuits brought by victims of the phone scandal. The British unit of the tabloid stopped paying Mulcaire’s legal fees in July after rumors surfaced that News Corp. was buying his silence on the issue. As a result, the former private eye is asking the High Court to try to force News Group Newspapers to continue to pay his legal costs and any damages awarded against him as provided for in their contract. Mulcaire’s attorney does not find this request for enforcement to be out of the ordinary. He stated that when an employer and employee have both acted illegally, “it is not remarkable to find the employer paying its employee’s legal costs.”