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Elton John World News: Elton John hacker sued

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Sunday 15 March 1998 @ 1:00 - GMT

The Guardian

 

 

 

A trainne solicitor hacked into Sir Elton John 's computer from his bedroom at his parent's semi-detached home, it was claimed yesterday.

 

Benjamin Pell , aged 34, obtained details of the singer's credit card spending and bank statements for the past five years, which were then published in the Mirror.

 

Sir Elton's management company, John Reid Enterprises, is taking legal action against Pell, who has defied a court order by hoarding further material in a safe.

 

Pell, who lives with his parents at Hendon, north London, said he belonged to the Elton John fan club and used 15 different aliases, including D. White, after Dwight, Elton John 's real surname.

 

He also obtained information by sifting through dustbins outside the management offices.

 

He said: "I have seen masses of private documents relating to Elton John and other celebrities. Detectives acting for John Reid spent seven days searching the house but they didn't find what they were looking for. I have hidden all the documents."

 

He claimed to have routinely hacked into Sir Elton's computer with the help of contacts with inside knowledge at John Reid Enterprises. Sir Elton ordered an inquiry after the Mirror published his credit card details and the leaks were traced to Pell.

 

The management firm lodged a writ at the High Court against Pell and has taken action against the Mirror and Max Clifford, the public relations consultant alleged to have brokered a deal between Pell and the newspaper, which reported on January 26: " pounds 527,849 in one day: what Elton spent

on amazing shopping spree; Elton John business empire faces cash flow crisis."

 

The High Court granted an injunction against all three parties revealing information. Lawyers for John Reid Enterprises are reportedly seeking damages of tens of thousands of pounds.