U.s. Actress To Sue News Corp Over Phone Hacking
In yet another legal action that brings News Corp's telephone-hacking scandal to the company's front door in the U.S., the American actress Koo Stark, once linked romantically to Britain's Prince Andrew, is reportedly planning to file an invasion-of-privacy claim against the media corporation after learning from Scotland Yard that her voicemail may have been hacked while she was in the U.S. The London Evening Standard is reporting that Stark is being represented by Mark Lewis, the lawyer who won large settlements for several celebrity victims in the U.K. Lewis has indicated that he, along with New York civil liberties attorney Norman Siegel, will likely represent six U.S. clients who believe their phones were hacked by News Corp's now-defunct British tabloid News of the World . Stark's name is the first among the six to be disclosed. In a separate action, actor Jude Law is reportedly also planning to sue the media corporation, claiming that his phone was hacked while he was at New York's JFK airport. News Corp faces other investigations that could jeopardize its U.S. television licenses. The FBI and the Department of Justice have reportedly launched probes into whether the company's News International unit bribed police officers and public officials for information, a possible violation of the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act. Earlier this month the company conceded that it may have breached FCC laws regarding foreign ownership and will therefore suspend voting rights of some of its overseas shareholders. Whether that strategy will satisfy the U.S. regulator is unclear. The British broadcast regulator OFCOM already is looking into whether the company's leadership meets its criteria of "fit and proper" owners of BSkyB, the British satellite company that is controlled by News Corp. A similar probe, affecting News Corp's Fox broadcast licenses, could be launched in the U.S. by the FCC which has a history of strictly enforcing its rules. In the 1980s, it yanked the licenses of stations owned by RKO General after it determined that the parent company had engaged in "anticompetitive and possibly illegal" reciprocal trade practices. The commission noted that while "this misconduct was not directly related to RKO's broadcasting activities ... such non-broadcast misconduct called into question the character qualifications of the licensee and its ability to serve the public interest."