News International is planning to pay $3.2 million to the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered girl whose voicemail was hacked by News of the World journalists, according to the Associated Press.
A joint statement from Dowler’s family and News International confirming the settlement said that Rupert Murdoch will also donate $1.6 million to charities chosen by the Dowler family, which include “youth and cancer research groups.”
“Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year,” the Dowlers said in the statement. “The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this.
Last month, it was reported that News International had offered Dowler’s family a $3.2 million settlement that would include a donation to charity. However, the Dowlers’ lawyers were said to be seeking a figure closer to $5.5 million, and an agreement had yet to be reached.
According to the Guardian, the settlement would be much higher than what other hacking victims had received because Dowler was a murder victim. Following Dowler’s disappearance in 2002 at age 13, journalists working for the News of the World had broken into her voicemails and deleted several messages, giving her family false hope that she was still alive. It was later found that she had been killed.