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Tony Blair's wife sues Murdoch company over phone hacking

Cherie Blair, the wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, is suing Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper company over phone hacking.
Image: Cherie Blair
Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, alleges that her voicemails were unlawfully intercepted by one of Rupert Murdoch's UK newspapers.Chris Young / Pool via AP file
/ Source: staff and news service reports

The wife of former Prime Minister Tony Blair is suing Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper company over phone hacking, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Cherie Blair was suing "in relation to the unlawful interception of her voicemails," lawyer Graham Atkins said in an email, making her one of the most high-profile people to have challenged Murdoch's News International over the illegal eavesdropping campaign waged against politicians, celebrities, athletes and others in the public eye.

Details of Blair's claim were not immediately made public Wednesday. Atkins said he would not be commenting further on the case.

Her legal action is likely to prove uncomfortable for Tony Blair, who is godfather to Murdoch's youngest daughter, Chloe.

Tony Blair was also present in March 2010 when Murdoch's two daughters by his third wife, Wendi, were baptized.

Murdoch closed the News of the World tabloid in July amid public outrage revelations that it had hacked into the phone of a missing schoolgirl who was later found murdered.

Since then, police have made almost 40 arrests — including many well-known reporters — over phone hacking and in connection to related inquiries into the payment of bribes to public officials and email hacking.

Millions have been paid out by Murdoch's company so far in out-of-court settlements to about 60 victims of hacking.

The news of the legal action comes at a particularly sensitive timed for Murdoch, who announced on Monday that the first edition of a Sunday edition of The Sun would appear this weekend.

Murdoch's News International did not immediately return a message from the Associated Press seeking comment.

A Blair spokesman also declined comment.

The Associated Press and staff contributed to this report.

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