Lawyer for Angelina Jolie's body double: more hacking cases against News Corp

A lawyer for Angelina Jolie's former body double -- who is suing Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. over alleged phone hacking -- said Tuesday that other people have contacted his team with their own claims.

"There's been a bunch of people, the majority residents of England, but some in the United States, who have asked us to bring claims for them," Norman Siegel told reporters in New York. "The legal team is researching those and, at some later date, we'll make a collective judgment as to whether we have enough evidence to go forward."

Siegel said that threshold has been reached in the lawsuit filed June 13 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by the body double, Eunice Huthart.

The suit alleges that Huthart's cell phone was hacked in an attempt to find information about Jolie, with whom Huthart lived in Brentwood, California, from early January until mid-June 2004, while they were working on the film "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."

Huthart also lived in Los Angeles from mid-March until mid-May 2005 doing reshoots for the film, it says.

"On occasions from 2004 to 2005, Plaintiff did not receive messages left and stored on her cellular telephone system while she was in the United States and in the United Kingdom," the 40-page complaint says.

"Plaintiff complained to her service provider, Vodafone, about lost voice messages. On occasions friends and relatives asked Plaintiff why she had not replied to their messages. They included Ms. Jolie, who left messages concerning hotel arrangements where she was staying, code names for hotels and individuals, dinner reservations, meet-up times and, on occasion, when she sought the help of Plaintiff during times of need."

The missed calls affected Huthart's daughter and caused her relationship with her husband to suffer, the complaint alleges.

Huthart's name, her cell phone number, her account number and/or her PIN number appear on four pages of notes written by Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator who did work for News Corp's now-defunct "News of the World," and obtained by Metropolitan Police, the complaint says.

Mulcaire and unidentified investigators and journalists "intentionally and willfully reset Plaintiff's PIN number on several occasions in order to intercept her cellular telephone messages," it says. Some of the journalists then deleted them "to gain an exclusive of the private and confidential information that was on the voice-mail message," it alleges.

The defendants "knew or should have known that executives, employees and agents of The Sun and News of the World were engaged in widespread phone hacking," the suit alleges.

A charge sheet from the Crown Prosecution Service, dated July 24, 2012, lists Huthart as a phone-hacking victim, the complaint says.

It cites an April 1, 2005, item in The Sun that said, "Yesterday The Sun exclusively revealed [Brad] and Angelina checking into a hotel posing as a married couple during a weekend trip to plug their new movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith."

At the time, it was not publicly known that the two actors were a couple, it says.

The lawsuit is seeking damages in an unspecified amount that would include any profits made by the defendants, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs.

A News Corp. spokesman declined comment on the lawsuit.

Siegel said he also represents families of victims killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks whose phones may have been hacked by News Corp. employees, and that the FBI has opened an investigation.

Accusations that journalists at Murdoch's British newspapers hacked into the phones of politicians, celebrities and unwitting people caught up in the news shook his media empire in 2011 and caused the closing of the 168-year-old News of the World newspaper. Arrests and lawsuits followed in its wake.


Comments