In an effort to shore up the nation’s reputation as a place of primness, propriety, and proper protocol, the British courts appear to have spent most of the last week forcing various parties—i.e., tabloid newspapers—to issue apologies to other parties—i.e., the various celebrities that the papers have hacked, robbed, and defamed.
A London High Court has awarded author J.K. Rowling the right to read a printed apology from the Daily Mail—in which the paper recants claims that the Harry Potter had once spoken ill of a group of church parishioners—aloud in court. Rowling won the libel case against the Mail back in 2014, and forced both a financial settlement and a printed apology from the paper. But, not unlike a Horcrux or a Dementor or some kind of weird creeping wand fungus, the case has continued to linger, with the newspaper arguing that Rowling didn’t have the right to issue a statement about the apology in court. But said appeal was denied this week, allowing Rowling to finally feel, quote, “fully vindicated” on the matter. (If this all seems like a lot of work and effort for a simple statement of validation, it’s worth noting that the British apology is worth nearly twice as much as its American counterpart at present, and is thus significantly more worth fighting for.)
Rowling wasn’t the only British celebrity treated to an apology courtesy of the British tabloids of late. And, since nothing says “I’m sorry” quite like large sums of money, that’s exactly what the eight people most recently found to have been victimized by the long-lasting U.K. newspaper phone-hacking scandal will receive. In this case, the celebrities due to receive portions of a payout worth roughly $2 million include actress Sadie Frost, who was previously married to Jude Law, and several stars from popular British soaps like EastEnders and Coronation Street. The payouts come courtesy of tabloid the Daily Mirror, which was found to have used the celebrities’ hacked phones to generate more than 100 newspaper stories, presumably with headlines like “Soap opera star’s minutes refuse to carry over,” and “Ringtone frog still crazy.”