News of the World Hacking Scandal Continues
By this time, we should all be familiar with the News of the World newspaper publisher. The newspaper has made an impressive name for itself in recent headlines, as it was recently revealed that they were responsible for the hacking of several phones. They would regularly hack the phones of their subjects in order to gain more information. Their targets include everyone from common, everyday people to big name Hollywood actors and celebrities like Jude Law. Now, it appears that Ted Beckham, father of famous British pro soccer player David Beckham, was yet another victim of illegal wiretapping. He is now suing the News of the World publisher as punishment for these actions.
While many details of the story still remain unclear, it can be said for sure that Beckham is very serious about the charges, as he is taking the case all the way up to the News International subsidiary NGN, who published the News of the World newspaper. News of the World closed last year after the story of their illegal wiretapping made worldwide headlines.
Ted’s son 36 year old son David Beckham played soccer for Manchester United and Real Madrid before moving to LA Galaxy in the US. He has also returned to Europe for two loan spells with AC Milan. Beckham is not the only one suing the news giant. Other notable individuals suing are Cherie Blair, Jamie Theakston, cleared murder suspect Colin Stagg and Jeff Brazier.
News International must be exhausted at this point after already having to settle legal cases with dozens of others, including legal proceedings brought by actor Jude Law and singer Charlotte Church. There are still many other cases that have not yet been heard, and it is believed that there are several hundred more noteworthy individuals and regular people whose cases have yet to come to light.
One case was settled last month. 26 year old singer Charlotte Church accepted over $600,000 in damages from News International after it was revealed in court that phone hacking led to the publishing of 33 different articles about her and her family in News of the World.
A number of other celebrities, including Steve Coogan, Paul Gascoigne and Alastair Campbell have also settled cases, with the bill for Rupert Murdoch’s company now running into millions.
Mr. Coogan received $40,000 after the High Court heard Mr. Mulcaire posed as him to get confidential information from Vodafone between 2003 and 2006.
Former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell received undisclosed ‘substantial damages’, while Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes won $45,000.
Mr. Gascoigne was handed $68,000 because of the “mental harm and distress” caused by the paper’s subterfuge.
The former England footballer was so convinced that the information published about him had come from his closest friends that he suffered a breakdown.
Thus far, a grand total of 22 people, including former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, have been arrested in Operation Weeting, the Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking. Whether more people are to be arrested remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: News International still has a lot more money to lose.