London: Dozens of
celebrities and politicians have settled damages claims over the
News of the World phone-hacking scandal, the Telegraph reported
Actor Jude Law, politician Lord Prescott, Shaun Russell, whose
wife and daughter were killed in Kent in 1996, and Sara Payne, the
mother of murdered schoolgirl Sarah, are also among 36 claimants
who have reached settlements.
Details of some of the deals were given in the high court
Actress and designer Sadie Frost has received 50,000 pounds in
damages. Labour MP Chris Bryant received 30,000 pounds. Footballer
Ashley Cole has also received damages but the figure was not
disclosed, the newspaper said.
The deals mean that 36 damages claims being brought against News
International subsidiary News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of
the now-defunct News of the World, have been settled.
But Mark Thomson, of law firm Atkins Thomson, who represents some
of the claimants, said others would press ahead with a trial
scheduled for next month.
Others whose settlements were confirmed Thursday include former
cavalry officer James Hewitt, who had an affair with Diana,
Princess of Wales, former MP George Galloway, Welsh rugby star
Gavin Henson, singer Dannii Minogue, Calum Best, the son of George
Best, and Meg Matthews, the ex-wife of former Oasis guitarist Noel
Thomson said: "All of the claimants have been extremely brave to
take on and succeed against a massive and influential
multinational media organisation."
"A number of claimants are still pursuing the matter to trial and,
as a result, NGN will continue to disclose further information and
evidence," the paper quoted him as saying.
The News of the World (NoW) newspaper, which ceased publication
July 10, 2011, has been illicitly hacking into the voicemail
messages of prominent people to find stories.
It admitted intercepting voicemails in April last year after years
of rumour that the practice was widespread, and amid intense
pressure from those who believed they had been victims.
The paper ceased publication after fresh allegations. The final
edition signed off with headline "Thank you and goodbye" and
included an apology.