Murdoch seeks deal with Dowler family

Family of murdered teen offered payment

LONDON — Rupert Murdoch is likely to make a personal donation to charity of £1 million ($1.57 million) as part of a settlement being agreed with the family of one of the victims of phone hacking by the News of the World.

The family of murdered British teenager Milly Dowler, whose phone was hacked by a private investigator employed by the U.K. tabloid, is understood to be close to agreeing a deal with News International.

The settlement will reportedly also involve the Dowlers receiving around $3.14 million, a sum that dwarfs other amounts paid to victims of phone hacking.

News International told the BBC that it was “in advanced negotiations with the Dowler family.”

It was the revelation on July 4 that Dowler’s mobile was hacked and that messages on the device had been deleted, giving the family false hope that Milly was still alive following her disappearance in 2002, that was the tipping point in the hacking and police corruption scandal.

The revelation unleashed a wave of public anger in the U.K. and overseas.

Within days, News International closed the News of the World.

Public opinion was so hostile that News Corp. was forced to abandon its bid to own British paybox BSkyB outright.

The amount of money being offered to Milly’s family is believed to be a record for such a case.

Murdoch has apologized repeatedly for the News of the World intercepting messages left on Milly’s phone.

In other settlements made so far in the scandal, the actress Sienna Miller was paid $157,000, while PR advisor Max Clifford pocketed $1.57 million.