A look at scandals involving UK media

Associated Press Modified: November 29, 2012 at 8:47 am •  Published: November 29, 2012
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LONDON (AP) — After a yearlong inquiry full of sensational testimony, Britain's Lord Justice Brian Leveson released a report Thursday into the culture and practices of the British press and his recommendations for future regulation to prevent phone hacking, data theft, bribery and other abuses.

The long-simmering scandal has already led to scores of arrests and some criminal charges. Dozens of cases have been settled out of court after victims of press intrusion sued. Here are some of the cases the Leveson inquiry has investigated:

MILLY DOWLER

The 13-year-old girl was abducted and murdered in 2002. In July 2011, it was reported that employees of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid had hacked into her telephone while police were still searching for her, giving her parents false hope that she was alive. Her mother, Sally Dowler, told the inquiry that when she could again leave a message on her missing daughter's phone, she shouted: "She's picked up the voice mails! ... She's alive!" Outrage over this case prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to commission the Leveson inquiry.

KATE and GERRY McCANN

Their young daughter Madeleine had vanished during a vacation in Portugal. The parents said newspapers were sympathetic at first but coverage later turned hostile. One story said the couple had sold their daughter into slavery, another that they had killed her and hid her body in a freezer. The couple successfully sued several British newspapers over suggestions that they had caused their daughter's death and then covered it up. Kate McCann described her dismay when extracts from her private diary — in which she wrote to her missing daughter — appeared in the News of the World in 2008. "I felt totally violated," she said. "There was absolutely no respect shown to me as a grieving mother or as a human being, or to my daughter."

HUGH GRANT

The popular actor testified that since "Four Weddings and a Funeral" made him a movie star, details of his hospital visits had been leaked, his garbage was rifled through, his ex-girlfriend and his infant daughter harassed. He said an article earlier this year in The Sun and the Daily Express about his visit to a hospital emergency room was a gross intrusion of privacy. "I think no one would expect their medical records to be made public or to be appropriated by newspapers for commercial profit. That is fundamental to our British sense of decency," he said.

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