Raking in far more than other phone hacking victims, singer Charlotte Church snagged a $952,000 settlement with the News International group, the AP reports Monday. It appears the size of the hefty settlement ($475,000 in damages plus legal costs) is due to the targeting of Church's parents, including details about her mother's medical history. Still bitterly upset about the hacking, Church, speaking outside the court room, said she was "sickened and disgusted" with the now-defunct tabloid News of the World. "They are not truly sorry; they are just sorry they got caught." Earlier, actor Jude Law was paid $206,000 and retired soccer pro Paul Gascoigne was paid $108,000, according to CNN. Still, the settlement was a partial victory for Rupert Murdoch's embattled newspaper empire as it tries to deal with the phone hacking scandal without a trial (Church was one of the longest holdouts).
The irony in all of this is that in 1999 Church sang at the wedding of Murdoch and Wendi Deng because she was informed it would result in favorable coverage from his newspapers, reported Bloomberg. So much for that. She even went so far as to waive the 100,000 pound fee for singing. You could say she's deferred the payment until now. As for News International, it isn't out of the woods yet. Other lawsuits against the media group are ongoing, including one by Cherie Blair, the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.