The family of Milly Dowler -- the murdered British girl whose phone was hacked by reporters from Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper, and who became the most notorious face of the phone hacking scandal -- is due to settle with Murdoch's News Corp. for several million pounds, according to Sky News and the Guardian and the Wall Street Journal.
The final settlement was reported to be in the area of £3 million, which would include a £1 million personal donation to charity by Rupert Murdoch.
The settlement would be one in a growing line of out-of-court deals that News Corp. has made with the victims of phone hacking. (One of these deals, with soccer union chief Gordon Taylor, is still causing a boatload of trouble for the company.) Among others, the company was forced to issue a formal apology to actress Sienna Miller as part of a deal. It also paid £20,000 to sports broadcaster Andy Gray. The list of settlement deals is likely to continue growing, as more and more celebrities and others seek damages.
But no case has damaged Murdoch's standing and credibility as much as Milly Dowler's. Out of the many thousands of phone hacking victims, it was her family who Murdoch went to meet with, and who Murdoch apologized to repeatedly. At the time, the family showed no desire to make any kind of amends, refusing to meet with Murdoch in their home and also refusing to appear with him after their meeting at a London hotel had concluded.
It was also the news that his reporters had hacked into her phone and even deleted her voicemail messages that caused Murdoch to abruptly close the News of the World. Consequently, it is her family that is reportedly getting the heftiest settlement deal.