News Corp. Settles More Hacking Claims

Actor James Nesbitt, the father of soccer star David Beckham and former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife are among the latest to settle.

LONDON -- The News International U.K. newspaper unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has agreed to settle additional civil claims related to the phone hacking scandal that had been brought by the likes of soccer star David Beckham's father, actor James Nesbitt (The Hobbit) and Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The Guardian reported Wednesday that the settlements will come at a cost expected to run into the millions of pounds.

It said the firm has now agreed to settle about 130 cases. The U.K. newspaper arm, which used to operate the shuttered News of the World tabloid, has overall faced 167 phone hacking civil claims.

Through early December, it had settled more than 50 cases with the likes of Hugh Grant, Jude Law and Sienna Miller.

Outlines of some of the new settlements were reached before the end of 2012, according to the paper. Leslie Grantham, a former actor in British soap opera EastEnders, is also understood to be among those who have since agreed to settle.

A judge has been believed to be looking to start trying unsettled claims in June.

News International wasn't immediately available for comment.

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