Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. paid out its first settlements Thursday to 37 of the roughly 740 victims in the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. One of the victims was Jude Law, who received some $200,000 in damages, The Associated Press reports.
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News of the World, one of several international newspapers owned by Murdoch and his media conglomerate (which also owns the Fox network, FX and Fox News Channel, among many other TV properties), came under fire last summer after it was revealed that the British tabloid had engaged in illegal phone-tapping of celebrities, politicians, members of the British royal family, relatives of deceased British soldiers and victims of the 7/7 London bombings.
News Group Newspapers admitted that articles "misused" Law's private information and published material that was gathered through illegal phone-hacking between 2003 and 2006.
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"It is clear that I, along with many others, was kept under constant surveillance for a number of years," Law said. "No aspect of my private life was safe from intrusion ... including the lives of my children and the people who work for me. It was not just that my phone messages were listened to: News Group also paid people to watch me and my house for days at a time and to follow me and those close to me both in this country and abroad."
The payout is the first of what could eventually amount to hundreds of millions of dollars for Murdoch and his company. Other celebrities affected by the scandal include Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller and Heather Mills.