Among the 58 claimants who have fought to prove that their phones were hacked by the News of the World, 18 were settled today.
The Guardian has reported the following payouts, awarded by News International, which has exceeded £600,000.
Actor Jude Law, received £130,000 plus costs, and his personal assistant, Ben Jackson was also awarded £40,000 in damages, plus legal costs. His ex-wife and designer, Sadie Frost received £50,000 plus legal costs.
Former deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott accepted £40,000 and his assistant Joan Hammell also received £40,000, plus costs.
Other high-profile claimants include Welsh rugby star Gavin Henson (£40,000) and Chris Bryant MP accepted £30,000 plus legal costs.
In addition, Denis MacShane MP accepted £32,500 plus legal costs, and his girlfriend Joan Smith was given £27,500, plus costs.
Guy Pelly, a friend of Prince Harry received £40,000, plus costs.
Tom Rowland, a journalist who worked for News International’s Times and Sunday Times (£25,000 plus costs), Lisa Gower, who was in a relationship with Steve Coogan (£30,000 plus legal costs), Graham Shear, a football lawyer (£25,000 plus costs), and PR consultant Ciara Parkes (£35,000).
Christopher Shipman, son of serial killer Harold Shipman, and footballer Ashley Cole both received substantial sums but the figure has not been revealed. The sum paid to Labour MP Claire Ward is also unknown. An anonymous claimant was also paid £60,000 in damages by News International.
As News Group Newspapers (NGN), the News International subsidiary that published the now defunct News of the World does not deny or admit allegations of phone-hacking, The Guardian reports that victims will receive a higher sum than usual, in comparison with other cases which involve the misuse of private information. The settlements are reported to have cost News International millions of pounds.
BBC’s legal correspondent Clive Coleman said that the latest settlements have been regarded by many commentators as “waving the white flag”.
After months of legal maneuvering, Rupert Murdoch’s media giant has offered a apology to the victims. The settlements also include a promise from NGN to continue search their electronic archives in order to further investigative claims of phone-hacking.
In the The Daily Telegraph, Stephen Heffer, a solicitor representing the former Labour MP Claire Ward, as well as Noel Gallagher’s former partner, Meg Mathews, and Dan Lichters, former partner of the Michael Barrymore, warned that there many more victims of the scandal will emerge.
He said: “There are more claims to come and I am acting for many further victims of phone hacking. The police are informing individuals that they have been victims on a daily basis. They have simply not got round to telling everyone.”