News International Makes $4.7 Million Offer to Family of Murdered Teen in Phone Hacking Scandal

1:57 PM PST 09/19/2011 by Patrick Kevin Day
Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

The Rupert Murdoch company’s settlement offer, still under negotiation, would be the largest sum ever paid out by a newspaper owner.

Rupert Murdoch's News International has made a reported $4.7 million (£3 million) settlement offer to the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered teenager whose hacked phone messages were part of the News of the World's hacking scandal earlier this year.

The final amount is still being negotiated between attorneys for both sides, but the total is expected to be the largest payout yet to stem from the phone hacking scandal and one of the largest settlements ever paid by a newspaper owner, according to The Guardian newspaper.

The paper reports the settlement will include a $1.5 million donation to charity and money to alleviate the family's legal costs. The Dowler family's attorney is reportedly seeking a $5.5 million settlement.

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In a statement to the paper, New International said it was "in advanced negotiations with the Dowler family regarding their compensation settlement. No final agreement has yet been reached, but we hope to conclude the discussions as quickly as possible."

News International's News of the World had hacked into the teenager's cell phone and deleted messages, leading the family and authorities to think the missing teen was still alive. She was later found murdered. News of the hacking came to light in July, when actor Hugh Grant conducted a private sting operation to publicly reveal News of the World's tactics.

News International immediately shuttered News of the World and its chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, resigned. However the company continues to pay out damages to aggrieved parties.  It has previously paid $157,000 to actress Sienna Miller over her phone hacking and other privacy claims and it later paid $31,400 plus undisclosed costs to football pundit Andy Gray.

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