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Murdoch apologizes to phone hacking victims

Friday, July 15, 2011 - 02:32

July 15 - The lawyer for a British family whose murdered daughter had her voicemails hacked into says Rupert Murdoch ''held his head in his hands, many times'' as he apologized to them for his newspaper's culpability in the affair. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch held his "head in his hands" as he apologized face-to-face to the family of a murdered British school girl, their lawyer said on Friday (July 15), following the meeting. Milly Dowler, who was killed in 2002, had her voicemails accessed by an investigator working for a Murdoch tabloid, police believe. Their case has been at the forefront of a phone hacking scandal centred on the now defunct News of the World, which British police say could involve almost 4,000 people. The meeting between Murdoch and the Dowler family took place on Friday in London after it emerged that the media tycoon had written a personal apology for the hurt suffered by all the people targeted by phone hacking at the News of the World, to be published in Britain's national newspapers at the weekend. Afterwards, Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the Dowlers said Murdoch had apologized repeatedly to them. "Yes he did apologize. He apologized many times; I don't think someone could have held their head in their hands so many times and say that they were sorry... He said the word 'sorry'; that this should not have happened. This was not the standard set by his father, a respected journalist, this was not the standard set by his mother and that this was the proper thing that should be done, not what was done in the name of the News of the World," Lewis said. Murdoch, who attempted twice to leave the building by the same exit, faced a barrage questions from reporters. In a fragmented statement, he indicated that the meeting was private, but that he would find out what happened and apologize. The meeting also followed the resignation of Rebekah Brooks as chief executive of News International, News Corp's UK arm, yielding to political and investor pressure that has shaken Murdoch's media empire on both sides of the Atlantic. The 43-year-old Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World and of flagship daily tabloid The Sun, was a close confidante of Murdoch, who described her as his first priority when he flew in to London this week to manage the crisis at News Corp's British newspaper unit. Thirteen year old Milly Dowler disappeared from her home in Surrey in March 2002 and her remains were found in September of that year. Her killer was convicted last month. Her father and mother, Bob and Sally Dowler, say there were given false hope that she was still alive after her disappearance because some of her voicemails had been deleted. They, along with their daughter Gemma, Milly's sister, met Britain's political leaders this week as the phone hacking scandal unfolded.

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Murdoch apologizes to phone hacking victims

Friday, July 15, 2011 - 02:32