News International, publisher of the now-defunct News of the World newspaper in Great Britain, has agreed to pay 2 million British pounds - the equivalent of $3.2 million - to the family of British teen Milly Dowler, who disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead.
Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of chief executive of News Corporation, the parent company of News International, personally apologized to Dowler's family in July amid allegations that News of the World journalists secretly listened to the girl's voicemail after she disappeared.
Dowler, 13, disappeared in 2002 and was later found dead.
"As the founder of the company, I was appalled to find out what happened," Murdoch said after speaking with the family in July.
As part of the settlement, announced Friday by News International and the Dowler family, Murdoch will pay 1 million British pounds - about $1.6 million - to charities chosen by the Dowler family. Those charities "represent causes close to Milly and those that provide support to other victims of crime," a statement from News International and Dowler family sai
Revelations surfaced in July that journalists working for the News of the World at the time of her disappearance had eavesdropped on Dowler's phone, deleting some of her messages to make room for more. The deletion of messages gave the family hope she was still alive when she was already dead.
Public and political outrage in Britain was immediate and intense, and less than a week after the reports surfaced, News International chief executive James Murdoch ordered the closing of News of the World, a best-selling Sunday paper. James Murdoch is the son of Rupert Murdoch.
Previously, News of the World apologized for hacking into the voice mails of celebrities and politicians, paying compensation to actress Sienna Miller and offering money to others. An out-of-court settlement of 700,000 pounds (U.S. $1.2 million) was paid to English soccer executive Gordon Taylor for "illegal voicemail interception."