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News Corp. Settles Phone Hacking-Suits With Celebrities

July 22 (Bloomberg) -- News Corp. settled three more civil hacking suits as actor Rhys Ifans, entertainer Michael Barrymore and an agent won undisclosed damages from the publisher at a London court today.

Lawyers for the trio read out separate statements that said substantial damages had been awarded and included an apology from the company.

The settlements follow an eight-month criminal trial into alleged wrongdoing at News Corp. tabloids which last month saw the conviction of former editor of the News of the World, Andy Coulson, and the acquittal of Rebekah Brooks, the former head of the company’s U.K. unit, and four others.

News Corp. has settled hundreds of civil claims over the last two years as celebrities, politicians and athletes claimed their phones were hacked by the News of the World.

Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the newspaper in 2011 in a bid to temper public outrage over the hacking of a missing teenager’s phone.

Ifans, star of the film Notting Hill, said he was told by British police in April 2013 there was evidence that his telephone messages may have been intercepted.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net Peter Chapman, Robert Valpuesta

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