Brit Hacking Scandal Hits US

Lawyer planning US lawsuits on behalf of hacked celebs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2012 3:39 AM CDT
Brit Hacking Scandal Hits US
British lawyer Mark Lewis arrives at the Leveson Inquiry in central London last year.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The lawyer who spearheaded efforts to expose phone hacking at Britain's News of the World is on his way to the US, and American lawsuits are expected to follow. Mark Lewis plans to explore American law as it relates to phone hacking, and to file at least three lawsuits on behalf of celebrities whose phones were hacked while in the US, in violation of American telecommunications and privacy laws, the Guardian reports. Though some celebrities were foreigners visiting the US, at least one was an American whose phone was hacked while talking with a celebrity friend overseas, sources have indicated. Further details haven't yet been revealed, and it's not clear which Murdoch employees may have been involved.

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Murdoch's company has tried to keep the scandal confined to the UK, and Lewis "launching these lawsuits in the US brings the issue of phone hacking into News Corp's backyard, where they have the potential for significant embarrassment," a British media analyst tells the Daily Beast. "And the people who are going to get the most embarrassed by this are the Murdochs in New York." Lewis—who won a $3.2 million settlement for the family of a murdered girl whose phone was hacked—was himself put under surveillance by the News of the World before Rupert Murdoch closed the paper down. (Read more Mark Lewis stories.)

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