News Corp. pays $4.8M to phone hacking victim's family

Media conglomerate agrees to pay family of 13-year-old murder victim $3.2 million, and pay another $1.6 million to charities of the family choice, over charges it hacked into the girl's mobile phone voice mail.

News Corp., whose now-shuttered News of the World newspaper hacked into phone accounts of a teenage murder victim, agreed to pay a $4.8 million settlement with the girl's family.

According to The Wall Street Journal, News International, News Corp.'s British newspaper unit, will pay the family of Milly Dowler $3.2 million. It will give another $1.6 million to "charities chosen by the Dowler family that represent causes close to Milly and those that provide support to other victims of crime."

News Corp.

In 2002, News of the World reporters hacked into the mobile phone of the 13-year-old Dowler, who had been kidnapped, and erased voice mails. That gave her family false hope that she was still alive.

News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said in the statement that he told the Dowler family personally in July how "deeply sorry" he was for the phone hacking incident.

"The behavior that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent," Murdoch said.

The Dowler family hasn't indicated which charities will receive money.

"The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory," the Dowler family said in the statement. "We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this."

The settlement comes the same day that News Corp. is holding its annual shareholders meeting in Los Angeles. There, some shareholders called on Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan, who also hold senior New Corp. positions, to step down from the board, and to boost independent oversight of the company.

 

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