Paul Gascoigne tells court phone hacking ruined his life

LONDON (AP) — Former English soccer star Paul Gascoigne has told Britain’s High Court that tabloid snooping ruined his life and is partly to blame for his alcoholism.

Almost four years after revelations of illegal eavesdropping shook the British media, a new court case has put it back in the spotlight.

This time it’s not Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids that stand accused but rival publications owned by Trinity Mirror PLC.

The company has admitted hacking, and a judge is hearing a lawsuit by eight claimants to determine the amount of damages victims will receive.

Gascoigne testified Wednesday that hacking left him frightened and paranoid, making him think friends and family were betraying him. He said: “And people can’t understand why I became an alcoholic … these guys have ruined my life.”