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Jude Law, others settle with Murdoch

LONDON – The media giant News Corp.’s British subsidiary agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to actor Jude Law and 17 other victims of phone hacking by its journalists as part of a settlement announced in a British court on Thursday.

The victims were mainly targeted by the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, which was closed last July by media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s corporation in the wake of the scandal.

Among the claimants awarded compensation were Law and his former wife, actress Sadie Frost; ex-soccer player Paul Gascoigne; former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott; and James Hewitt, the ex-lover of the late Princess Diana.

The court agreement presided over by Judge Geoffrey Vos awarded $200,000 to Law, who was tracked by the newspaper’s hackers even while in the United States, and $78,000 to his ex-wife.

The 18 claimants, along with 19 others who previously settled, are a fraction of the total of some 800 phone-hacking allegations that have already been investigated by police.

More than a thousand cases are still being pursued, Scotland Yard said. The hacking was mainly carried out by private investigators working for journalists in search of stories.

News Group Newspapers, the subsidiary, refused to comment on Thursday’s proceedings.


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