Mirror Group Newspapers have been hit with a bill running into tens of millions of pounds after dozens of phone hacking victims settled their claims for damages.
Lord Archer and his wife Dame Mary, who was hacked while he was serving a prison sentence, were among dozens of well known figures who reached an agreement with the newspaper.
Other victims included former Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, ex-England football manager, Kevin Keegan and actress Patsy Kensit all settled claims after having their private conversations and messages hacked by journalists.
The cases were heard at the High Court in London with the payment of undisclosed damages and apologies.
It is understood some of the individual settlements were as high as £300,000.
Mirror Group are understood to have set aside more than £52 million to cover the legal costs and damages relating to the hacking scandal.
When the News of the World phone hacking scandal broke in 2011, it cost the newspaper’s publisher more than £300 million and led to its closure.
The court heard that in the case of Miss Kensit, more than 60 stories were published about her, which are believed to have been based on information obtained through the hacking of messages.
David Sherborne, who represented former Labour Cabinet minister, Mr Clarke, said the activities of MGN in his case had caused “enormous stress” for him and his family. It caused them to “drastically adapt” their way of life, he told the judge.
In the case of Mr Keegan, his solicitor, John Newell, said in a statement: “Discovering that his private communications with his family, friends and associates had been unlawfully accessed was a devastating intrusion.”
The judge heard that MGN had paid Kensit a “substantial sum by way of damages to compensate her for the actions which they have accepted and acknowledged should never have happened”.