Phone-hacking scandal: payday

UPDATE:  The total number of plaintiffs who settled with News International is now 37. Only 15 have had their names made public including Jude Law.

Phone-hacking victim Jude Law received the largest pay-out: £130,000 ($201,264). Law's attorney  read a statement to the court on the actor's behalf, "no aspect of my private life was safe from intrusion by News Group newspapers, including the lives of my children and the people who work for me."

The scandal erupted last summer, engulfing senior figures in British Prime Minister David Cameron's government, forcing the resignation of News International's chief Rebekah Brooks and Britain's top police officers. But the scandal had been building for years.

The Guardian, which led the crusade to uncover the truth, quotes Tamsin Allen the lead lawyer on the case. "It is a credit to them, the claimants, that they kept on, because we have now discovered a massive conspiracy involving criminal activity and a cover-up."

This is by no means the end of the story. There are criminal charges pending against those who illegally hacked into people's phones.

The big question: why did David Cameron hire Andy Coulson, editor of the News of the World, where most of the hacking took place, has yet to be answered satisfactorily.

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