Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's company, News International, has agreed to pay more than $3.2 million to the family of a murdered schoolgirl whose phone was hacked by the now-defunct tabloid newspaper News of the World.
A joint statement released Friday by News International and the Dowler family also said Murdoch will donate $1.6 million to charities chosen by the Dowler family. Murdoch called the behavior exhibited toward the Dowlers by News of the World "abhorrent" and said the donation underscores his regret for his company's role in the scandal.
The Dowlers said the substantial donation was the only way a fitting tribute could be agreed to. They said they hoped that projects undertaken in their daughter's memory will lead to some good coming out of the ordeal.
File photo shows News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch speaking outside a hotel where he met the family of murdered teenager Milly Dowler in central London, July 15, 2011
Murdoch shut down the newspaper in July after allegations that reporters illegally accessed Milly Dowler's voicemail messages while police were searching for her in 2002. She was later found murdered. Increasing evidence that phone-hacking - of hundreds of celebrities, politicians and rival journalists - was routine at the newspaper outraged the British public, prompting Murdoch to personally apologize to the family.
The scandal led to the resignations of London's top two police officers, Paul Stephenson and John Yates, and to the arrests of News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulsen, who went on to head communications for Prime Minister David Cameron before resigning in January.
Murdoch meets later Friday with shareholders of his worldwide media conglomerate, News Corporation, with some expected to call for his resignation.
News International is a wholy owned subsidiary of News Corporation.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
The major publishing, broadcasting and other outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch through News Corporation: (source: newscorp.com)