The BBC announced earlier today that “he owner of the News of the World is to admit liability in a number of cases brought against the paper for alleged phone hacking.”Earlier this year an editor at Rupert Murdoch‘s U.K.-based tabloid approved illegal phone hacking to tap the phone lines of at least 24 people, including actress Sienna Miller and former British culture secretary Tessa Jowell.
The original story broke when Miller brought a lawsuit against the news editor, Ian Edmondson, who was then suspended. The owner of the paper, News International — owned by Murdoch’s News Corp — said little in response to the scandal, probably hoping the legal mess and following settlements would blow over quietly.
Here is part of an official statement from the News International (note the British spelling!):
“Past behaviour at the News of the World in relation to voicemail interception is a matter of genuine regret. It is now apparent that our previous inquiries failed to uncover important evidence and we acknowledge our actions were not sufficiently robust.”
News International has offered an “unreserved apology” to the claimants. According to the BBC the settlements for the privacy invasion will be under £100,000 each, and the company hopes to keep the damages under £20 million.
Apparently the original suspension, which became a thorn-like news item in Murdoch’s side, wasn’t enough to shake off the celebs still angry about their privacy being violated.