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Dowler family bags £2m payout over phone-hacking saga

Murdoch hopes settlement 'underscores' his 'regret'

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Updated News Corp has agreed to cough up £2m to the family of Milly Dowler after individuals working for the now-defunct Sunday tabloid the News of the World were found to have hacked into the murdered schoolgirl's phone.

News International, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, confirmed the settlement in a joint statement with the Dowler family.

Additionally, Murdoch has agreed to donate £1m to a variety of charities selected by the Dowlers.

"The behavior that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent and I hope this donation underscores my regret for the company's role in this awful event," said the media tycoon, whose empire has been rocked by the scandal.

The 168-year-old NotW was dramatically axed in July this year, after evidence showed that reporters had accessed Milly Dowler's voicemail following her disappearance in 2002.

"Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year," the Dowler family said in a statement.

"The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this." ®

Bootnote

It has since come to light, in December 2011, that the NoTW was not responsible for deleting voicemail messages from Milly's phone, which gave her parents false hope that she was still alive. Instead, cops have suggested that the messages were automatically deleted before her mobile was accessed by the Sunday tabloid.

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