Jude Law joins News Corp phone hacking claimants

Fri May 20, 2011 2:08pm EDT
 
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By Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) - British film star Jude Law will sue the News of the World over allegations of phone hacking next year in a case to set guidelines over damages and which could involve senior management at the tabloid.

A judge hearing the case into phone hacking at the best-selling tabloid, part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, selected Law and four others to act as lead cases in a trial that will begin in January.

The judge said it was crucial to establish how widespread phone hacking was at the newspaper and the degree of senior management involvement, as this could influence the level of any damages awarded.

Law's case was included because it covers allegations of harassment, resulted in numerous stories and his disclosures had pointed to a senior executive at the News of the World, his lawyers said.

News International, publisher of the News of the World, later said in a statement: "Now that we have seen the disclosure we believe it is entirely false that the named executive is implicated in the alleged voicemail interception of Jude Law."

A clutch of celebrities, politicians and sports personalities are suing publisher News International, a unit of News Corp, for violating their privacy by eavesdropping on their voicemail to unearth scandals to sell more newspapers.

The lead cases will establish principles for the others and eliminate the need for each one to be heard separately.

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