Elle Macpherson. Photo Getty
Lawyers will seek "prime and crucial" evidence from Elle
Macpherson in a litigation brought by the supermodel's former
Australian adviser, who claims to be a third-party victim of
Britain's phone hacking scandal.
Mary-Ellen Field has been granted an adjournment in the UK
High Court, enabling lawyers to apply for a deposition from
Macpherson about her 2005 dismissal of the business adviser.
Ms Field lodged a claim against News Group Newspapers (NGN)
in March last year alleging she was dumped by the famous
fashionista after British tabloids printed information they
had intercepted from Macpherson's voicemail.
Macpherson had blamed Field for leaking details to the press,
the court was told.
Augustus Ullstein QC for Ms Field said attempts to secure
information from Macpherson had to date been unsuccessful,
and a copy of the model's police statement in the phone
hacking matter had not been made available.
He said it was important to "have Ms Macpherson examined
because some of the most vital evidence - so far as the
claimant is concerned - is what the basis was for her
dismissal by Ms Macpherson.
"There is ample evidence that that was the reason for her
dismissal, the allegation that she was leaking information to
the press, and the person who made that allegation has not
yet given evidence.
"There is a prime and crucial source of further evidence and
one of the difficulties (in securing the information) is that
Ms Macpherson shuttles between here and Australia."
NGN has sought the matter struck out, citing a lack of
"This claim is not fanciful; it is fantasy," Michael
Silverleaf QC for NGN told the court on Monday.
"One is very sorry for the hurt Ms Field has suffered but the
problem is she suffered it at the hands of other people."
Justice Vos said there was no substantive material supporting
Ms Field's claim that private voicemail messages she left
Macpherson were intercepted, leading to the publication of
articles about the model in The Sun and News of the World
"It seems to me that on the current pleading ... there are
some fairly persuasive grounds on which the matter should be
(dismissed)," Justice Vos said.
"(However) I'm left today harbouring a doubt that the claim,
in some circumstances which are not yet available to the
court, could be supported."
Justice Vos said Macpherson had indicated previously through
lawyers that she is prepared to offer her full co-operation
to the court and granted the adjournment for a date to be
He added that Macpherson is not due back in the UK until
January next year.
Mr Silverleaf remained resolute that the matter should be
"It is bound to fail," he told the court of Ms Field's claim.
"There is no material at present and there is nothing from
which the court could reasonably conclude that there would be
supporting evidence in the future."
Ms Field was the only Australian and one of more than 330
witnesses to give oral evidence at a major inquiry into the
ethics and culture of the British press, chaired by Lord
Justice Brian Leveson.
The probe was launched following reports of widespread phone