Gordon Ramsay Settles Out of Court Over Intercepted Email Info (Report)
Former NOTW editor Phil Hall issues apology, pays undisclosed sum to a charity on Ramsay's behalf.
LONDON – Celebrity chef and TV presenter Gordon Ramsay and the former News Of the World editor Phil Hall have struck an out of court settlement ending legal action between the two.
Hall has issued a public apology to Ramsay for passing on information about the chef to the UK.’s Daily Mail newspaper which he has admitted may have been obtained by “illegitimate means.”
The newspaper editor turned PR guru issued the apology Thursday after settling out of court with Ramsay before agreeing to make an undisclosed donation to a charity of the chef’s choice, media reports said.
According to The Guardian, the information sold by Hall centered around a shark-fishing trip that Ramsay went on shortly before appearing on TV criticizing the trade, the high court heard.
The info had come from emails that were unlawfully intercepted but Hall’s lawyers made it clear the PR man did not know how they’d been obtained.
In the apology Hall admits that he should not have passed on personal family pictures and medical information provided by the chef's former business partner and father-in-law, Christopher Hutcheson, who was one of Hall’s clients at the time.
"In late 2010 and early 2011, I was engaged by Chris Hutcheson (Mr. Ramsay's father-in-law) and asked to pass certain stories to the newspapers regarding Gordon Ramsay. In particular, Mr. Hutcheson provided me with private information about the Ramsays, including personal family pictures and medical information," Hall told The Guardian.
"I accept that, given the public breakdown of the relationship between Mr Hutcheson and Mr Ramsay, of which I was fully aware at the time, I should have guessed that Mr. Hutcheson was not entitled to this information and in all likelihood may have come by it via illegitimate means.”
Hall went on to apologize to offer Ramsay and his family a “full and unreserved apology for my actions and any distress caused, and, at Mr. Ramsay's request, I have made a donation to a charity of his choice."
It had emerged during a previous legal battle between Ramsay and Hutcheson that the chef's former father-in-law had unlawfully accessed his emails. The dispute was eventually settled with Ramsay paying Hutcheson £2 million to buy him out of the chef's catering empire earlier this year.
Hall was the editor of the News of the World between 1995 and 2000.