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British pop star Charlotte Church has become the latest individual to sue News Corp.’s U.K. publishing unit on claims of illicit phone hacking. The singer has a personal connection to Rupert Murdoch — she sang at his wedding at the age of 13.
Church, now 25, testified before a judge-led inquiry into press ethics last November, according to Bloomberg News. She reported that a News Corp. tabloid, The Sun, may have intercepted her messages for a 2007 story about her pregnancy.
Church also says that police have given her proof that News of the World intercepted phone messages when she was 17.
She’s now among 70 individuals who have filed lawsuits. Some of these cases, including a complaint brought by Jude Law, are scheduled to be heard in February.
Murdoch reportedly has prepared a £100 million fund to settle civil litigation stemming from phone hacking and is close to reaching agreements in at least 10 cases.
In other entertainment & media legal news:
- A woman who says she suffered a permanent head injury as a result of a fight on Jersey Shore is suing MTV Networks, Viacom, and others. The plaintiff says she was celebrating her niece’s birthday when drunk people got into a brawl with security during taping of the popular reality show. This marks the 15th lawsuit against Jersey Shore and/or its cast members in the past two years.
- The New York Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against the Nassau County Police Department on behalf of Gawker reporter John Cook in an effort to attain public records on whether Bill O’Reilly pressured police. Cook is investigating whether the Fox News host used his influence to find out whether his wife was having an affair with one of NCPD’s detectives. The lawsuit says that the reluctance to turn over records constitutes unlawful censorship.
- As we previously reported, ReDigi, a vendor of used digital music files, has been targeted by the recording industry. EMI has followed up on a cease-and-desist letter by formally filing a lawsuit that claims copyright infringement in the production of multiple unauthorized copies.
- The Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel has named Manatt, Phelps & Phillips as its law firm of the year. Additionally, Alan Saxe, senior vp of business and legal affairs for OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), is being honored as counsel of the year. The awards will be presented on Friday at the House of Blues in West Hollywood.
- Michael Rosner, formerly senior counsel at Loeb & Loeb, has been named general counsel at Relativity Media.
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