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September 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Mary-Ellen Field

News International, the British subsidiary of News Corp that oversees its U.K. newspapers, may already have paid about $225 million to settle invasion-of-privacy cases brought against it by victims of hacking — but it is refusing to settle a claim by one person described as “collateral damage” in the scandal. Mary-Ellen Field, who had worked for Elle Macpherson, had claimed that she was fired by the Australian supermodel, who accused her of leaking personal information to News International’s Sunday tabloid, News of the World. Macpherson’s name later appeared on a police list of hacking victims. In a statement to the Leveson committee looking into the voicemail hacking, Field said, “It became clear that these interceptions were the source of the leads of Elle’s [personal] information.” But News International, which does not dispute the claim that Macpherson’s phone was hacked, contends that it did nothing to harm Field and that her case has no legal merit. Reporting on the company’s resistance, today’s (Friday) Guardian newspaper commented, “It is believed to be the first time News International has tried to have one of the numerous damages lawsuits relating to phone hacking struck out rather than settled. This could indicate a change in tack by News International parent company News Corporation, which has seen costs relating to the phone-hacking scandal, including legal bills, rise to £140 million.”