Rupert Murdoch's Company Settles 9 Lawsuits

Published February 8, 2012 12:18PM (EST)

LONDON (AP) — All but one of the first wave of phone hacking cases against Rupert Murdoch's News International have been settled, victims' lawyer told Britain's High Court on Wednesday.

The latest settlement brings to more than 60 the number of claims that Murdoch's UK newspaper company has dealt with.

Hugh Tomlinson, the lawyer for the victims, said six more lawsuits had been issued and that 50 other cases are in preparation.

Among the cases settled was that of comedian Steve Coogan, who received a settlement of 40,000 pounds ($63,536). Liberal Democrat lawmaker Simon Hughes received 45,000 pounds.

News International's lawyer Michael Silverleaf said in court the media group accepted responsibility and said it regrets the damage caused.

The only outstanding case left was brought by singer Charlotte Church, who has testified that Murdoch's reporters grossly violated her privacy and that of her family, causing great distress.

The judge ordered a short break before more details could be released.

The scandal over phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid boiled over after it emerged that journalists at the paper had routinely hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, sports figures and even crime victims.

The now-defunct tabloid has already settled with several prominent figures, including actress Sienna Miller and the family of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose phone was broken into by the paper soon after her disappearance in 2002.

By Salon Staff

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