Kate Middleton Hacked? Duchess May Have Been Hit In News Of The World Phone Hacking Scandal

06/09/2011 02:21 pm ET | Updated Aug 09, 2011

The UK hacking scandal involving Rupert Murdoch's News of the World seems to have just expanded to a new level.

The Guardian reported Wednesday that News International, the British arm of News Corp., may have employed a private investigator to spy on Kate Middleton and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The scandal has engulfed the News of the World, Britain's biggest-selling paper, for years. The tabloid was forced to apologize and admit that it had hacked into the phones of many high-profile figures. Recently, it formally apologized to Sienna Miller earlier this week, though the actress already reportedly settled a lawsuit with the organization for £100,000 ($164,500).

Middleton was unmarried at the time of the alleged hacking, and was likely not even engaged to William at the time.

Prince William and Prince Harry have already been identified as alleged victims of the phone hacking scandal, according to USA Today. Other members of the royal family have also been identified as potential victims.

According to the original report in the Guardian, the investigation surround Rees is comprehensive and potential charges include theft of confidential data, the hacking of computers and burglary. Rees reportedly worked for a number of newspaper groups during his time with Southern Investigations.

The Guardian has previously identified other suspected targets of Rees, including Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, George Michael, Linford Christie, Gary Lineker, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, and the family of the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe.

None of these cases has been officially confirmed or even investigated. With many of them, it is not yet clear precisely what form of surveillance Rees and his agency, Southern Investigations, were using. Answers may lie in the "boxloads" of paperwork the Metropolitan police are believed to have seized from Rees.