- Three lawsuits set to be filed on behalf of unidentified clients, but they are suspected to be David Beckham, a friend of Jude Law’s, and Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell
By Daniel Bates
Three civil lawsuits are to be filed in the U.S. over alleged phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the first time the scandal has reached the American courts.
Though the individuals at the center of the lawsuits have not been named, there is speculation that they are Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell, football star David Beckham, and someone who is friends with or works with the actor Jude Law.
Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the unnamed trio, did give hints which seem to match up with the suggested names.
Mr Lewis said that one of the alleged victims was connected to Princess Diana and the Royal household whilst a second is linked to the England football team. The third is described as a ‘Hollywood case’ as the person was in touch with a well-known celebrity which made him a target.
Victim by association: While Princess Diana (left) may not have had her phone hacked, it is thought that her butler Paul Burrell (right) did
In another first, at least once of the cases allegedly involves a phone belonging to a U.S. citizen.
Mr Lewis will file civil lawsuits in America on their behalf ‘imminently’ as all three are claiming that the criminality took place whilst they were on U.S. soil.
The legal action could open up News Corp to further embarrassing revelations and bring the scandal to its headquarters in New York.
So far it has been largely confined to the UK.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Lewis says that all of the numbers which were allegedly hacked were found in the notebooks of Glenn Mulcaire.
He was the private detective formerly employed by the News of the World, which was owned by News Corp subsidiary News International before the newspaper was closed down in July last year.
Possible victims: An acquaintance of Jude Law’s (left) is thought to be one of the people whose phone was hacked at JFK airport, and David Beckham (right) is also allegedly a victim as well
Lewis claims that the individuals themselves may not have been the only people who were targeted but those close to them too may have come under scrutiny.
He told the Daily Beast: ‘This is getting wider.
‘It’s not just the people who were A-list or celebrities, but people who were in their circles – people who might call them or work with them, what I would call the ordinary people who just got caught in the crossfire’.
Lewis declined to say which newspaper carried out the alleged hacking but said he is keen to start requesting documents through the U.S. courts as soon as possible.
Lawsuits: Lawyer Mark Lewis (left) said he will file civil lawsuits against Rupert Murdoch’s (right) American branch of News Corp on behalf of his clients as all three claim the hacking took place on U.S. soil
He said: ‘We’ve only seen the documents that exist in respect to News International in England, and there’s been no process of discovery in respect of News Corp.
‘That could be the next thing that we have to find out.’
Another arm of his legal action could be a separate lawsuit that examines ‘the dirty tricks that might have been used in order to further the commercial aims for News Corporation,’ he added.
Earlier this month James Murdoch was forced to step down as chairman of BSkyB amid questions over his role in the scandal.
The FBI has already reportedly begun examining claims by the actor Jude Law that his phone was hacked by the News of the World whilst he was at JFK airport in New York.
News Corp declined to comment.