Angelina Jolie's Stuntwoman Claims News Corporation Hacked Her Phones
LOS ANGELES (CN) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation hacked into the voicemail of Angelina Jolie's stunt double looking for news on Jolie's relationship with Brad Pitt, the body double claims in court.
Eunice Huthart, of Liverpool, England sued News Corp., NI Group Ltd. fka News International Limited, News Group Newspapers, and John and Jane Does 1-10, in Federal Court. Murdoch is not named as a defendant.
Huthart claims that nonparty Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who intercepted phone messages for the Murdoch tabloids, hacked her phone in 2004 and 2005. Huthart was working in Los Angeles then as Jolie's stunt double on the movie, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
Huthart describes herself as a close friend of Jolie's. She believes journalists hacked into her voicemail for at least three Jolie-Pitt related stories, including news that Pitt and Jolie were romantically involved.
That story appeared in The Sun on April 1, 2005 under the headline, "Brad's £4M Pad Is Jolie Nice," according to the complaint.
At the time, "no one except Brad Pitt's bodyguard, Ms. Jolie's bodyguard, their respective personal assistants and plaintiff knew that Brad Pitt and Ms. Jolie were now an 'item,'" the complaint states.
Huthart claims that Jolie told her several times she had called Huthart and left messages, and wondered why Huthart didn't call back. Huthart claims she never received the messages because journalists hacked her phone and deleted them.
"On one occasion, plaintiff went to Ms. Jolie's hotel not knowing under what pseudonym Ms. Jolie was registered. Ms. Jolie had left plaintiff a voice message earlier saying that she was staying at the hotel under the name 'Pocahontas,'" the complaint states. "However, plaintiff never got the message. Ms. Jolie's assistant had to come down to the lobby to find plaintiff. Ms. Jolie said to plaintiff, 'I left you a message.' However, plaintiff never received it."
Huthart claims the News Of The World, a Murdoch tabloid, broke a story on May 1, 2005 about Jolie's plan to quit acting, under the headline, "'Pitt Stop For Jolie.'"
"Ms. Jolie had communicated with plaintiff on this subject prior to the article appearing in the newspaper, and would leave messages on plaintiff's cell phone, some of which she did not receive," the complaint states.
Another News Corp. tabloid, The Sun, ran another story days later, headlined, "'Off Road Biking Is Jolie Fun,'" describing Jolie's plan to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
Huthart claims she had organized lessons with her friend Ray Da Haan, who planned to teach Jolie to ride at his farm in Kent, England.
"Mr. Da Haan left messages for plaintiff, but those messages appear to have been hacked and deleted before she heard them. Concurrent with these arrangements between Mr. Da Haan and plaintiff, The Sun reported that 'Brad Pitt's lover has been learning on a nippy 750 cc MV Augusta Brutale.' The story also states, 'A source ... said ... she's a natural.' Plaintiff believes that the quote 'she's a natural' is attributable to Mr. Da Haan's leaving a message to that effect. Upon information and belief, this specific information about the motorcycle and the arrangements, and the 'natural' remark were known only to plaintiff, Ms. Jolie and Mr. Da Haan," the complaint states.
Huthart says the hacking took a toll on her family. She says she missed several vital messages from her daughter, who had called to say she was being bullied at school.
Huthart's relationship with her husband also suffered, she says, when he came to believe she was failing to call him back because she was having an affair.
After the British phone hacking scandal erupted in 2011, Huthart says, British police told her there was evidence her phone had been hacked.
A charge sheet from the Crown Prosecution Service identified Huthart, according to the complaint. The charge sheet, cited in the complaint, said that News Of The World journalists Neville Thurlbeck and James Weatherup, and Glenn Mulcaire hacked voice mail messages for information about Jolie and Pitt.
"As of February 2013, approximately 700 victims have settled claims for phone hacking in the United Kingdom for a total of approximately $25,000,000," the complaint states. "A substantial number of cases of phone-hacking claims are still pending."
Huthart seeks compensatory, statutory and punitive damages for violations of the Stored Communications Act, the Wiretap Act, the California Constitution, and invasion of privacy and intrusion into private affairs.
She is represented by Norman Siegel with Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans, of New York City.