Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is facing fresh attack as the U.K. lawyer responsible for many phone hacking lawsuits is preparing to launch more suits in the U.S.
Mark Lewis, who secured a settlement for the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl whose voicemail was hacked by employees of the shuttered News of the World, is flying to the U.S. later this week. He told website The Daily Beast that he is planning to launch three separate lawsuits alleging phone hacking on U.S. soil by News Corp.’s U.K. operations.
He added that the suits involved alleged victims connected to the U.K.’s royal family, England’s soccer team, and a well-known celebrity, and told the website he plans to file the suits “imminently.”
The revelations about hacking of Dowler’s voicemail kick-started the scandal, which led to the closure of News of the World. Rupert’s son, James, has since resigned from his positions at News International, News Corp.’s U.K. newspaper wing, and BSkyB , the U.K. pay-TV operator. The company has embarked on an exhaustive internal investigation into allegations of phone hacking and payments to public officials.
A spokesperson for News Corp. did not return calls.
The news comes as the Murdochs face another public appearance in the U.K. over the scandal. The Leveson Inquiry, a judicial inquiry into phone hacking and the relationship between police, politicians, and the media, is planning to call Rupert and James Murdoch, as well as other media proprietors in the U.K., in the last week of April.