Kate Middleton Among Suspected News Corp. U.K. Pay-for-Stories Victims (Report)

Kate Middleton

Police will contact 419 people, including Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, believed to have been targeted by the U.K. arm of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper firm.

LONDON – Kate Middleton and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood are among 419 suspected victims of News Corp. journalists who allegedly paid public officials in Britain for stories, the Guardian reported.

It said police officials here, as part of a long-running probe, are in the process of contacting the possible victims of the News UK arm of Rupert Murdoch's newspaper company.

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The information could lead to legal action against the company as those identified as suspected victims would be entitled to sue. News UK's papers include tabloid The Sun, which is at the center of the bribery probe, The Times of London and the Sunday Times.

Between five and 10 legal claims are already believed to be in the pipeline against News UK, according to The Guardian. It wasn't immediately clear who may bring claims.

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A spokesman for the London metropolitan police, also known as Scotland Yard, said police would not comment on the identity of suspected victims.

The Guardian said that in addition to 70 people arrested in the bribery investigation to date, additional arrests were likely in the coming weeks and months. People arrested so far under what is dubbed "Operation Elveden" include journalists, police officers, members of the armed forces and Britain's National Health Service.

A News UK lawyer has said the company would fight damages claims. "It is our intention to resist them. We will not be making offers of compensation," she told a court recently, The Guardian said.

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai