Gemma Dowler with mother Sally Dowler |
News International has offered the family of murder victim Milly Dowler a multimillion-pound settlement in an effort to settle the News of the World phone-hacking case, the Guardian reports.
The paper's sources estimate that the proposed settlement would top £2 million, and includes a donation to charity. But News International has not reached agreement with the Dowler family, whose lawyers were thought to be seeking a figure closer to £3.5 million. According to the Guardian, the sums being negotiated are far higher than the company has paid in any other phone-hacking settlement—actress Sienna Miller received £100,000, while footballer Andy Gray was offered £20,000—because Dowler’s family was the victim of a crime apart from the hacking.
There was growing speculation Monday afternoon that a deal was close, but some sources close to the negotiations said that there were still enough unresolved issues that “an agreement in principle” still hadn’t been reached, the Guardian said.
Following Dowler’s disappearance in 2002, reporters working for the News of the World broke into the 13-year-old girl's voicemails and deleted several messages, giving her family hope that she was still alive. It was later discovered that she had been murdered.