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November 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp appeared to be exposed to the possibility of millions of dollars in lawsuits Wednesday as a judge in London ordered that police turn over to the former assistant of publicist Max Clifford any evidence that they may have that her voice mail was tapped by reporters or investigators working for Murdoch’s Sunday tabloid News of the World.

Max Clifford

Last March Clifford settled an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit against the newspaper, receiving more than $1.5 million, thereby allowing NoW to avoid having to disclose details of its telephoning hacking activities in court. The newspaper has insisted that those activities were conducted by a single, rogue reporter, Clive Goodman, working with a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, both of whom were jailed for phone hacking in 2007. In Wednesday’s ruling the court also ordered Mulcaire to answer questions from Nicola Phillips, who has said she has reason to believe that her phone messages were hacked while she worked for Clifford. Depending on how her case pans out, dozens of other British politicians and celebrities who may have had their phone messages hacked by the tabloid are reportedly lined up ready to file similar lawsuits against the News of the World. The scandal has proved to be especially embarrassing to Prime Minister David Cameron, who has hired the former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, as his communications chief. Coulson has maintained that he was not aware of the hacking — an assertion that some former News of the World journalists have contradicted.