Cherie Blair And News Corp
February 22, 2012 by staff
Cherie Blair And News Corp, Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has filed a civil lawsuit against News Corp.’s U.K. tabloid-newspaper unit for phone hacking, according to a lawyer representing her.
Graham Atkins, a British lawyer acting for Mrs. Blair, said in a statement Wednesday that his firm had issued the claim “in relation to the unlawful interception of her voice mails.” He added: “I will not be commenting any further at this time.”
A spokeswoman for News International, News Corp.’s British newspaper unit, declined to comment on the matter. News Corp. owns The Wall Street Journal.
Mrs. Blair’s claim is the latest in a string of more than 60 lawsuits that high-profile Britons have filed in relation illegal voice-mail interception by the company’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid.
The emergence of a claim from Mrs. Blair is noteworthy on several fronts. News Corp.’s tabloid The Sun, which has the highest circulation in Britain and wields significant influence on British politics, backed Tony Blair’s Labour Party in national elections, helping keep him in power from 1997 to 2007.
Mr. Blair also has a personal connection to News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, said in an interview with Vogue last year that Mr. Blair is the godfather of one of the couple’s young daughters. He also attended the baptism of the couple’s daughters in the River Jordan, she said.
News Corp. has been trying to dispense with other civil litigation related to phone hacking. As of earlier this month, News Corp. had settled almost all the outstanding claims, barring that of singer Charlotte Church, and thereby has prevented the lawsuits from going to trial. Britons who have reached phone-hacking settlements include Mr. Blair’s former deputy prime minister, John Prescott, and his communications chief, Alastair Campbell. But new cases continue to trickle in. Other alleged phone hacking victims who did not file claims before a court-appointed deadline in October have submitted or are preparing lawsuits, lawyers for victims have said.
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