Manchester United and England star Wayne
Rooney and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife
Cherie are among a new group of 46 people suing over alleged
phone-hacking by Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper,
court documents showed on Friday.
Other celebrities listed included singer James Blunt, football players Ryan Giggs and Peter Crouch and former England rugby
union player Matt Dawson.
The new list of people filing claims for damages against the
News Corp subsidiary that published the now-closed News
of the World was disclosed after a hearing at London's High
Court on Friday, the Press Association reported.
Murdoch faces a two-day grilling at the High Court next week
by a judge investigating whether the political ties of the
world's most powerful media tycoon created a company culture
where illegal phone hacking could flourish.
Hugh Tomlinson, a lawyer representing many of the claimants,
told the High Court on Friday there were a total of 4,791
potential victims of phone-hacking, adding police had contacted
1,892 of them.
The claims for alleged invasion of privacy are due to be
heard at the High Court next February unless they are settled
News Group Newspapers, publisher of some of News Corp's
British titles, has reached out-of-court settlements with dozens
of people whose voicemails were illegally intercepted by the
Most of the payouts have been in a range of roughly
30,000-60,000 pounds but a small number have
been much higher. Singer Charlotte Church received 600,000
pounds, half of that covering legal costs, while actor Jude Law
accepted 130,000 pounds and actress Sienna Miller got 100,000.
Murdoch's UK arm News International had claimed for years
that the hacking of voicemails to generate stories at the News
of the World tabloid was the work of a single "rogue" reporter
who went to jail for the crime in 2007.
However, faced with a wave of evidence last year, it finally
acknowledged the problem was widespread, sparking a scandal that
has rocked the company, the British press and the political
British police have handed prosecutors four files of
evidence against 11 suspects in the Murdoch phone-hacking
scandal, a prosecutor said on Wednesday, bringing closer the
likelihood of charges.
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