Andy Coulson denies Sienna Miller voicemail was played to him by reporter

Phone-hacking trial: Andy Coulson has denied that a voicemail left by Sienna Miller for Daniel Craig was played to him by a News of the...

Phone-hacking trial: Andy Coulson has denied that a voicemail left by Sienna Miller for Daniel Craig was played to him by a News of the World reporter. Photograph: Luke Macgregor/Reuters
Andy Coulson has denied that a voicemail in which Sienna Miller apparently declared her love for James Bond actor Daniel Craig was played to him by a reporter at the News of the World.
The former editor of the Sunday tabloid said the incident, described in testimony given to the hacking trial in February, did not happen.
Emails and diary entries shown to the jury placed Coulson at the Labour party conference in Brighton the day the message was said to have been played to him by Dan Evans.
His diary for Tuesday 27 September 2005 showed that he had items arranged relating to the then cabinet ministers Tessa Jowell and Charles Clarke during the day and that he was due to attend Tony Blair's speech at 4pm that day. Later that night he was due to attend a News International party, his diary shows.
Evans has told jurors in February that Coulson had become "very animated" after listening to an intimate voicemail message left on Craig's phone by Miller which he had hacked over the weekend after being ordered by bosses to get better stories.
He said Coulson listened to the recording after the reporter had intercepted an intimate voicemail left by Miller on Craig's phone, which appeared to show that they she was cheating on her then boyfriend Jude Law: "Hi, it's me. I can't speak, I'm at the Groucho with Jude. I love you."
Asked by his defence counsel Timothy Langdale QC, "did any such incident take place?", Coulson replied: "No, it did not".
Evans said he believed he played the tape to Coulson on the Tuesday, the first working day of the week on a Sunday newspaper, although he could not recall for certain.
The jury heard Coulson's diary also placed him in Brighton on Wednesday 28 September 2005 with meetings scheduled with senior cabinet members Geff Hoon, John Reid, Gordon Brown.
Although Coulson said three letters "CXL" beside the entries may have meant the meetings were cancelled, he said it was unlikely if he had left Brighton early that Wednesday he would have gone into the NoW offices that day as he had an evening engagement at London's Natural History Museum where the annual press ball was being held.
Coulson said there was "nothing to suggest" in the story the paper did run on Miller and Craig had come from hacking.
He told jurors that the story was "very odd" that its introductory paragraph reported that the actor had "sensationally fallen" for the James Bond actor while the rest of the article was "effectively knocking down the story".
Langdale cited a transcript of a conversation between a News of the World journalist and two sources from the Jude Law "camp". Coulson said his "understanding was that Jude Law knew" that a relative who has not been named in the trial was one of the sources for the story and the other was the actor's PR.
An email from Coulson asking the production team to avoid using the words "love rat" or "sex addict" in the story because he "considered the paper to be involved in an arrangement with these two sources and wanted to avoid these negative phrases being used".
Jurors heard that the Sunday Mirror also put what Coulson described as the "Sienna and Jude" saga on the front page although it updated its story to "Sienna cheats on Jude – he dumps her" "to accommodate" details in the NoW.
The Daily Mirror carried a story two days after the NoW "world exclusive" saying Law discovered Miller was cheating on him after he "overheard her whispering on the phone [saying] 'I love you'."
Langdale asked Coulson if he knew anything about that. "No," replied Coulson.
Coulson also denied Evans's claim that he discussed phone hacking with him as a way of getting stories cheaply during a job interview for the paper the previous year.
He was also asked about the breakfast meeting he had had at a hotel in central London before Evans was hired by the paper.
The jury has heard that in a statement to police in 2012 Evans said: "[The journalist's] body language encouraged me to talk about phones and I went briefly through – talked to Andy about how phone-hacking generated good stories cheaply."
Langdale asked: "Was anything said by Dan Evans about of concerning phone hacking?"
Coulson replied: "Not that I can remember."
Langdale continued: "Did the subject come up in any way at all during that meeting?"
Coulson answered: "Not that I can remember."
Coulson said if he had known Evans, who worked for the Sunday Mirror, had previously turned down an offer to work with the paper and used it to get a pay rise on the rival, he would not have met him.
"Rightly or wrongly I believed moving from the Sunday Mirror to the News of the World would have been a step up for him," Coulson said.
Coulson has denied being involved in a conspiracy to hack phones and two other charges related to allegations that royal police officers were paid cash for royal phone directories.
The trial continues.


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