Murdoch’s News Corp Could Face Class Action Suit

 

More damaging and potentially damning revelations emerged last week about the phone hacking scandal that brought down the 168-year-old British tabloid the News of the World last July. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation faces five court actions including one that potentially targets both him and his son James Murdoch. Allegations have also surfaced that News of the World staffers hacked the phone of reality TV star Jane Goody while she was dying of cancer in 2008.

Neil Wallis, who was the deputy editor of the News of the World, had been secretly receiving £25,000 from News International, a British subsidiary of News Corp., for “crime exclusives” stories, at the same time as he was working as a PR consultant for Scotland Yard. Wallis allegedly received the payments in 2009 and 2010, apparently earning £10,000 for a story. One story that Wallis was paid for was regarding a suspected assassination attempt on the Pope during his visit last year to the UK.

Also on Friday, Andy Coulson, the former News of the World editor, filed a suit against News International for breach of contract after the company informed his lawyers that it would no longer pay for his legal defense. As reported last month, Coulson had still been receiving payments from his former employer, News International, even after he had become Prime Minister David Cameron’s director of communication and four years after he had left his position with the media company. Coulson resigned from his position with Cameron’s government in January and was arrested in July as reports emerged that, under his watch, the News of the World had hacked into the voice mail of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

But it is not only in the UK that News Corp faces legal action. Mark Lewis, the lawyer representing Milly Dowler’s family and other victims of phone hacking, has instructed Norman Siegel, a New York lawyer representing families of 9/11 victims, ” to seek witness statements from News Corp and its directors, including Rupert and James Murdoch, in relation to allegations that News of the World staff may have bribed police.”

[Lewis] says he intends to assess whether he can launch a class action against News Corp using American foreign corruption laws, which make it illegal for US companies to pay bribes to government officials abroad.

“There is a provision within US law, before you start an action to seek depositions from individuals, in this case, such as James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch and other directors of News Corp,” said Lewis.

He added Siegel would examine allegations of not just police bribery but also phone hacking and “foreign malpractices.”

Siegel is advising a number of families of 9/11 victims regarding an ongoing FBI investigation about possible hacking of their phones.

News Corp. has been trying to remain separate from the phone-hacking scandal that has engulfed News International in the UK. Lewis’ actions represent a fresh challenge to the media giant and for the man behind it, Rupert Murdoch.

 

Previous Care2 Coverage

$3 Million?: Murdoch Offers Payment to Family in Hacking Case

Murdoch’s Fox News Cuts Phone Hacking Joke From Emmys

London Police: Guardian Must Reveal Sources

News Corp. Shareholders File Suit Against Murdochs

 

Photo of the final edition of the News of the World by Howard Lake

92 comments

Sylvia B.
Sylvia B6 years ago

Damn surreal!

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Dan C.
Dan Cas6 years ago

Is anyone else starting to feel really creepy about all that is going in on in the country lately? I read about more and more actions to suppress the vote; ALEC; climate change denial for profit even if we all cook in our own juices or drowned by the rise in sea level; Bachmann talking about missiles in Cuba, Iran and Palestine. What have we let loose by giving repugs any power?

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Camila K.
Kamila A6 years ago

I hope he is turned inside out investigated, then made to pay for all the damages as much as possible, to the full extent of the law.

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Georgia L.
Georgia L6 years ago

He owns too many people to get more than a slap on the wrist.

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Debbie Penman
Debbie Penman6 years ago

This family have to much global power to make them safe.I thought it was a disgrace the way he was getting off lightly in the UK until I saw Fox news reporting of the sham and so called interview following. Pathetic

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Donald B.
Donald Burnison6 years ago

The proof will be in the pudding; Murdock will keep tis tied up in the courts for years, and then when most have forgotten or another crisis is upon us Murdock will settle out of court and have the process frozen from the public. The good old boy system will be alive and well. This is the result we get when the powers that be have made money their God and wealth their religion.

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Dominic C.
Dominic C6 years ago

Finally!

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Charles Yheaulon
Charles Yheaulon6 years ago

Freedom,ha, if someone can make a buck by taking your freedom,....look out

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Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson6 years ago

thanks

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Dan C.
Dan Cas6 years ago

Nicole, I truly think it is the power that money buys that is ultimately the "cause". "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" is a saying that has been true our entire history. Don't forget we used to have (well some backward countries - like GB, still do ;-) "Kings" and "Queens" who we believed (or at least they said, behind the castle walls), that "dog" had appointed them! We should be looking at why we let anybody accumulate so much power in a democracy. We look at media buys supposedly to ensure "competition", but this is another Bushie "gift" as he got his license (and his citizenship) at the same "buy anything you want" store! ;-)

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