Amy Winehouse was left fearing her house was bugged as a result of being “targeted” by phone hacking, her father has alleged.
The late singer’s estate, administered by her father Mitch, is seeking damages from the publisher of The Sun and now-closed News of the World for alleged phone hacking of the singer’s mobile between 2003 to 2011, the year of the star’s untimely death at the age of 27.
High Court documents obtained by Jewish News reveal the late singer’s estate is taking legal action against News Group Newspapers over the alleged “unlawful information gathering.”
The publisher is contesting the claim.
The estate claims that her voicemails were intercepted over the eight-year period and private investigators were paid to find “private and confidential” information about her health and personal life.
It is alleged that this led to “persistent” disclosure of information surrounding her substance abuse and struggles with mental health.
It claims that the unlawful methods were used to obtain details of when Amy was turning up for medical appointments, despite them having been booked under a false name or at short notice, so that she could be met with photographers on her arrival.
As a result, the claimants say Amy “suffered considerable distress, and the loss of her dignity, standing and personal autonomy.”
The late singer even began to speculate her house could be bugged, and became “paranoid”, distrusting all those around her including her close friends, states the claim.
The case is disputed by the publishing company, which filed its defence in January. The contents of its defence are confidential.
In court filings last week, lawyers for the estate claimed that the family only became aware of the possibility that her phone may have been hacked in October 2019.
A date for any future hearing has not yet been set.
In a separate case, which is also contested by the newspaper publisher, Amy’s father is seeking damages for alleged unlawful information gathering against him personally.
In one incident, alleges that claim, a “posse of paparazzi” attended a cemetery where Mitch and Amy were due to attend a family funeral, and then “pursued” him back to London.
Mr Winehouse believes that his whereabouts, alongside information about other incidents, were discovered as a result of unlawful information gathering at the titles.
The chart-topping singer, who was Jewish, tragically died of alcohol poisoning in July 2011.
Her albums, Frank and Back to Black, were critically acclaimed and are considered among the best albums of the 2000s.
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