General News

John Leslie awarded huge damages over phone hacking

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Apr 19, 2013 | 8:24am EDT

Fallen British TV presenter John Leslie has accepted "substantial" damages from Rupert Murdoch's media empire over the phone hacking scandal. The former star presented programmes including game show Wheel of Fortune and kids' hit Blue Peter until false allegations of rape and sexual assault torpedoed his career in the mid-2000s. Leslie's name and cell phone number were later found in paperwork belonging to a private investigator who had hacked into voicemail messages on behalf of the News of the World, and he took legal action against parent company News Group Newspapers (NGN). In a hearing at London's High Court on Friday (19Apr13), officials were told Leslie has now settled his case against Murdoch's newspaper group in return for a substantial compensation payout. Former Conservative Member of Parliament Neil Hamilton and his wife Christine have also received a large sum in damages, and lawyers for the estate of late reality TV star Jade Goody, who died from cancer in 2009, have also settled their case. The News of the World was closed down in 2011 after it emerged some staff had commissioned the hacking of voicemail messages belonging to hundreds of celebrities, politicians, and crime victims.

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