Trinity shares slump on hacking claims
LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in publisher Trinity Mirror (TNI.L) fell 12 percent in early trading on Tuesday after four people filed legal claims accusing the group's newspapers of hacking into their phones to generate salacious stories.
Lawyer Mark Lewis said he had lodged the claims in court on Monday on behalf of the former England soccer manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and three others. Shares in the group were down 12 percent at 63 pence at 0725 GMT.
The only company previously sued for illegally hacking voicemail messages was Rupert Murdoch's News International, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper, which was closed down under a wave of claims against the tabloid last year.
Hacking allegations have in the past been directed at the Mirror titles, but the publisher of papers including the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and People has always strenuously denied any wrongdoing.
The filed claims allege phone hacking took place at the Daily Mirror when Piers Morgan, who edited Murdoch's News of the World from 1994 to 1995 before editing the Daily Mirror from 1995 to 2004, was editor.
Morgan, now a CNN talk-show host in the United States, has consistently denied authorising phone hacking during his time as editor, which includes rejecting the claims at a high-profile Leveson Inquiry appearance in December.
The other three claimants are Abbie Gibson, a former nanny for the Beckham family, former English soccer player Garry Flitcroft and actress Shobna Gulati.
The claims allege "breach of confidence and misuse of private information" relating to the "interception and/or misuse of mobile phone voicemail messages and/or the interception of telephone account".
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Maria Golovnina)
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