News International agrees to pay family in hacking scandal
From left, Bob, Sally and Gemma Dowler, the surviving relatives of a phone hacking victim Milly Dowler, were in settlement talks.
October 21st, 2011
10:54 AM ET

News International agrees to pay family in hacking scandal

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."

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Filed under: News of the World • United Kingdom
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. SlowGun

    "Murdoch will pay 1 million British pounds – about $1.6 million – to charities chosen by the Dowler family...."

    They should make him give it to Democratic National Committee or to the re-elect Obama fund.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duane

      So you think money is enough to get him re-elected while people are losing jobs, homes and families? Wow what a waste

      October 21, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Better to give the money to something worth while or something that will benefit humankind.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

      The mone isn't even needed. Obama WILL be reelected.
      Making Murdoch give money to a cause is is so against – you know, libirty, freedom, equality, morals and ethics will just crush him.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      The world is in bad enough shape than to give money to a president that has done nothing for you amd me and the country. How could you ever re-elect a person like this. If he was in charge of your company you would have fired him long ago. Or maybe not come off as an idiot.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      No funds gonna help Obama. He is one term president. Period. They didn't give him money because no one wants to invest for nothing.

      October 21, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jojo

      Work on your reading comphrension skills, this happened in ENGLAND, not the USA.

      October 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jboHDrider

      Why, do you think Obama is going to get tired of blowing all the rich folks that have already given him $43M? IT would be great, he could blow Murdock too!

      October 21, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Look who's on their payroll, S. Palin and N. Ginrich, need anyone say anymore, two liars and cheaters.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |

    I would have preferred a photo of Rupert Murdoch dusting off his shoulders. 3.2 million will suffice a family, but Rupert Murdoch OWES the world something more than what money can pay off.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    That ideological propagandist organization needs to be ended.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NealR2000

    What Murdoch's paper did was definitely wrong, and punishment is clearly warranted, but I just don't see the justification in enriching this family to such an extent. Do they deserve to be compensated? Yes, but let's not get confused between the tragic crime that happened to their daughter and the separate role that Murdoch's paper played in the aftermath. I know, we all hate Murdoch.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaryM

      Neal, how much should you get if your daughter was kidnaped and the hacking by MURDOCH'S COMPANY caused a delay in searching for her?

      October 21, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck


      October 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scott Kenan

    So when is Fox News going to pay ME for the extreme damages caused by their hacking of my computers and cell phones??? I am clearly owed far more!!! See:

    October 21, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ben James

    Murdoch, the Joseph Goebbels of our time. Mendacious and evil, in the end karma always rules. He will reside with Hitler and Goebbels in history.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Someone you love

    To all those who are saying this is a good punishment for breaking privacy laws... uh ya, the UK doesn't have privacy laws. There is no expectation of privacy, the goverment can barge into your business all they want. I just wish the USA was the same.

    October 21, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. coy4one

    If it were me hacking into the phones, I'd been placed in prison for a long time....I guess money does buy you freedom!

    October 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. george lewis

    i guess we live in a society where there is always a price to be agreed on for even something priceless.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mikeb

    Love how this turned political. Pathetic. It's no wonder an independent (thinker) can't get elected president with all the right and left fanatics out there.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Philip

    I just cant stop thinking about roots in Sadams hole.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |

    The rupster is a nasty little fuker, he, and his likes will surely rot in hell

    October 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Seth69n

    Wow! I bet the parents are grateful they had a kid that could make them so much money.

    October 21, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brown eye

    Bet this was a fraction of the money they made off the papers. I am glad to see the settlement made public. The sad part is instead of charges being made for breaking the law. They pay $$$ and all is ok

    October 21, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
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