Wife Of Ex-p.m. Blair Says She Was Phone-hacking Victim
The latest public figure in Britain to file suit against Rupert Murdoch's News International is Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair. Her attorney, Graham Atkins, said that the lawsuit was filed "in relation to the unlawful interception of her voicemails," presumably by reporters and private investigators working for the now defunct News of the World. Blair's lawsuit comes as lawyers for the media giant have been scrambling to settle dozens of similar lawsuits. Last month News International settled 37 civil cases; 21 others have been settled so far this month. Commentators have noted that the company seems motivated principally by a desire to keep the matter from going to trial, where defense attorneys may demand to know the names of the higher-ups in the company who authorized the telephone hacking. The company is currently attempting to negotiate a settlement with British singer Charlotte Church, whose case against News International is set to go to trial on Monday.