Cherie Blair’s suit comes days before News Corp.’s first civil trial on hacking
Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has sued News Corp. and a former private investigator on its payroll for hacking into her phone.
Blair filed the lawsuit Tuesday against News International, the British publishing subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s global media conglomerate, according to numerous reports. Mulcaire was a private investigator who worked with the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.
He already served jail time for hacking in 2007, four years before the scandal erupted on a far larger scale in July of 2011.
Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corp., shuttered the News of the World last July as the scandal intensified.
The suit's timing is awkward for Murdoch, who just announced that he would launch a Sunday edition of another News Corp. tabloid, the Sun. This latest suit comes days before News Corp.’s first civil trial on the matter starts (Feb. 27).
News Corp. has already paid $15.6 million in settlements to hacking victims, who have ranged from civilians to athletes to actors and actresses, in addition to politicians.
John Prescott, the former deputy prime minister, has already settled his hacking case, as has Blair’s former press chief Alastair Campbell.
Andy Coulson, the former communications chief of current prime minister David Cameron, was the editor of the News of the World when much of the hacking took place.
It is unclear when Blair believes her phone was hacked. As the Telegraph notes, the lawsuit could prove uncomfortable for Blair's husband, the former Prime Minister, who is godfather to Murdoch's youngest daughter, Chloe.
News Corp. declined comment on the suit.
Nine journalists from News of the World have been arrested to date on suspicion of bribery.