Hollyoaks' Nikki Sanderson was warned by co-star over potential phone hacking

Hollyoaks actress Nikki Sanderson only became aware she had a potential claim against Mirror Group Newspapers after speaking to co-star Gary Lucy, a court has heard.

The star, who plays Maxine in the Channel 4 soap, is suing the publisher over alleged unlawful information gathering, including claims that her phone was hacked to uncover private information. Prince Harry is suing the newspaper simultaneously with similar claims that the publisher used illegally-obtained information to write stories about him.

Sanderson's claim spans ten years, between 1999 and 2009, which covers her entire six-year stint as Candice Stowe in Coronation Street and four years after, when she was between the ages of 15 to 25. (via The Independent).

nikki sanderson attends the british soap awards 2023 at the lowry theatre on june 03, 2023 in manchester
Karwai Tang - Getty Images

Related: Coronation Street cast accused Michael Le Vell of being a "mole", court hears in phone hacking case

She is seeking damages for "long standing effect on her personality right up to the present day" from 37 articles published during that time, states her barrister David Sherborne. Mirror News Group previously denied that 35 of the 37 articles involved phone hacking or unlawful information gathering.

According to her barrister, the actress did not consider the possibility of phone hacking until former Hollyoaks co-star Gary Lucy told her about it in 2019, when he brought his own case against the publisher.

"Prior to her conversation with Mr Lucy, she had nothing on her mind to do with being hacked," Sherborne is quoted as saying.

Prior to her conversation with Lucy, the soap star had suspected that friends, colleagues or members of the public may be selling stories about her and "didn't suspect unlawful methods being used" until she spoke to her co-star.

Her barrister continued: "The impact of the stories on Nikki Sanderson was aggravated by their false insinuations that she was promiscuous, causing her great upset and giving rise to her being subjected to mental and physical abuse, having people shout at her in the street calling her a 'whore', 'slag' or 'slut' and even being physically assaulted on numerous occasions.

"It gave rise to her feeling in a constant state of paranoia, distrusting everyone around her."

nikki sanderson as maxine minniver in hollyoaks
Lime Pictures

Related: Hollyoaks star Tomi Ade explains departure from DeMarcus Westwood role

Sanderson first filed her claim in December 2020, and is due to appear in court on June 9, following Prince Harry arguing his own case against the publisher this week.

So far, Mirror News Group has admitted to unlawfully obtaining information in regards to one story, and to instructing and paying private investigators to unlawfully obtain information on four further occasions.

It "unreservedly apologises" for these incidents, but states that the evidence does not show that her phone was "successfully hacked". The publisher previously brought a bid to have her claim thrown out back in 2022.

Hollyoaks streams first online via Channel 4, with new episodes dropping each weekday morning. The show airs Mondays to Fridays at 6.30pm on Channel 4, and at 7pm on E4.

Selected omnibus episodes are available via Prime Video.

Read more Hollyoaks spoilers on our dedicated homepage

You Might Also Like