News of the World, a UK tabloid, will shut down within days amid allegations its journalists hacked into cellphones of scores of people - namely, celebrities and a teenage murder victim.
The case drew the wrath of actor Hugh Grant, who said police had asked him to testify at an inquiry regarding the scandal.
On Thursday, July 7, James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and Deputy Chief Operating Officer of News Corp., which owns the 168-year-old tabloid, announced in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com that the final issue of News of the World will be published on Sunday and that "all of the News of the World's revenue this weekend will go to good causes."
"The good things the News of the World does, however, have been sullied by behavior that was wrong," he said. Indeed, if recent allegations are true, it was inhuman and has no place in our Company. The News of the World is in the business of holding others to account. But it failed when it came to itself."
Earlier this year, Grant, a 50-year-old British star of films such as "Four Weddings and a Funeral," whose 1995 arrest for soliciting a prostitute dominated tabloid headlines, wrote in an article published in The New Statesman magazine in April that he had secretly taped a conversation with a former New of the World editor, Paul McMullan.
McMullan has admitted that News of the World, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., employed people to hack into the phones.
News of the World had said it will admit liability and pay compensation in eight cases, the news wire added. Rupert Murdoch himself has said allegations that News Of The World staff hacked phones and paid police were "deplorable and unacceptable".
At least five people have been arrested by detectives investigating assertions that News of the World journalists hacked the phones of members of the UK royal family, politicians, celebrities, sports stars and Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old British schoolgirl from England who was murdered several years ago, to listen to their voicemail messages, Reuters reported.
Several weeks ago, actress Sienna Miller settled a lawsuit with News of the World for 10,000 pounds ($164,500), saying her cellphone was hacked as well.
News Corp. also owns the UK tabloid The Sun and the newspaper The Times, as well as U.S media group the Fox Broadcasting Company and Asia's Star TV network. Murdoch's company recently sold the social networking service MySpace to Specific Media, a California company, for $35 million.News Corp.had originally paid $580 million for the portal. MySpace has shed millions of users since it was launched in 2003. Pop star and actor Justin Timberlake is now a part owner and the new MySpace is set to be relaunched as an entertainment company that will focus on music and other genres.