NEW: Miller says she had never had a "relationship," with Craig; "It was a brief encounter"
NEW: Her hacked voice mail saying she loved him causes a light moment in court
Former News of the World journalist Dan Evans says his editor knew of the hacking
Former editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks deny the charges against them
Britain’s phone hacking trial got a shot of Hollywood glamor Friday, as actress Sienna Miller was quizzed on the stand about her relationships with movie stars Daniel Craig and Jude Law.
The trial has been focusing this week on the claim that she had an affair with Craig, which was exposed by a tabloid journalist hacking the James Bond actor’s voice mail.
The journalist, confessed phone hacker Dan Evans, testified that Miller left Craig a voice mail telling him she loved him while she was out at a swanky London club with her then-boyfriend Jude Law.
“Hi, it’s me, I can’t speak, I’m at the Groucho (club) with Jude. I love you,” the voice mail said, according to Evans, who is testifying for the prosecution.
Miller testified that it was the kind of message she might have left for Craig, but that it has been misconstrued by the media and the public.
“For a long period of time, he was one of my closest friends,” she said of Craig. “That’s how I ended all my calls to my friends.”
She said she had never had a “relationship,” with Craig, adding: “It was a brief encounter.”
Lawyer to actress: I love you
The private lives of the Hollywood stars are being exposed as part of a long-running trial into phone hacking by British tabloid journalists.
A key defendant, former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, became a top spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron after leaving the paper over a hacking scandal.
Coulson’s defense lawyer, Timothy Langdale, accidentally set up the funniest moment in the week’s testimony when cross-examining Miller about the “I love you” voice mail.
He was reading it to Miller, who testified by video link from New Orleans, when the two began talking over each other because of a delay on the line.
Langdale stopped and asked Miller to go ahead.
“No, you just told me you loved me and I interrupted you,” Miller replied, drawing laughter from everyone in court.
Langdale has spent most of the week trying to punch holes in Evans’ testimony, and drew out that Miller had not been in London the night she is supposed to have left the voice mail from the Groucho club.
Under his cross-examination, Miller said she recognized that a journalist might find the voice mail “titillating.”
“I think if journalists got their hands on that piece of information, they would find it titillating and it might be the basis for a story,” she said. “People would have thought that was a pretty exciting message to hear – people who didn’t know my nature and know that’s how I communicated with people.”
From paper to politics
Coulson resigned as editor of News of the World in 2007 after a journalist working for him pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack phones.
He said he did not know the journalist had been doing it, but he accepted responsibility as editor of the paper and quit, and then went to work for Cameron.
Cameron became Prime Minister in 2010. Coulson resigned as his spokesman in 2011 when the phone hacking scandal exploded for the second time.
Coulson and the other six defendants deny the charges against them, which include conspiracy to intercept messages and related crimes.
Evans, a last-minute prosecution witness, insisted Tuesday that he played the hacked Sienna Miller voice mail for Coulson in 2005. Coulson, Evans said, shouted, “Brilliant.”
The editor went on to instruct Evans to cover up the fact that Evans had obtained the voice mail illegally, Evans testified. He told Evans to make a copy of the message, put the copy in a Jiffy bag and send it to the front gate of the newspaper offices to make it appear as if it had been dropped off as an anonymous tip.
News of the World ran a front-page story about the alleged affair on October 9, 2005.
‘Even the office cat’ knew
On Thursday, Coulson’s lawyer Langdale said that Coulson was not even in London on the date Evans claimed to have played him the voice mail, according to British media reports.
Evans has steadfastly insisted that Coulson knew that journalists at the paper were illegally intercepting voice mail, and that Evans was hired partly for his ability to do so.
The former News of the World reporter has said that everyone at the newspaper, “even the office cat,” knew he was hacking phones, and that Coulson certainly did.
On Tuesday, he rattled off a list of 10 names of colleagues who he said knew it, including Coulson.
Langdale has pushed Evans to admit that he negotiated hard to get immunity from prosecution after he was arrested for hacking phones.
Evans conceded that prosecutors had said he would not only have to admit his own guilt, but incriminate others in order to get immunity. In the end, prosecutors did not offer him the full immunity he sought, he said.
Evans has also admitted to alcohol and drug abuse, but said he is clean now.
The trial has touched the highest levels of British politics, media and society.
In addition to the link between Coulson and the British Prime Minister, the case has put pressure on global media baron Rupert Murdoch, who owned the News of the World until he shut it down over the hacking revelations.
Rebekah Brooks, a friend of Cameron and a protege of Murdoch, was editor of News of the World before Coulson, and went on to become head of Murdoch’s British newspaper publishing company before resigning over the hacking scandal. She is a defendant alongside Coulson, and also denies all the charges against her.