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Phone hacking: Jolie stunt double first to sue in US

A UK stuntwoman who has doubled for Angelina Jolie in films has become one of six people to commence legal proceedings against Rupert Murdoch's media empire in the US over phone hacking, reports The Independent.

The former stunt double for Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has begun legal proceedings in the US in what is thought to be the first of a series of legal cases over phone hacking in America.

Eunice Huthart, best known in the UK as the only contestant ever to become one of the Gladiators on the hit ITV television programme, is now a well-known stunt actress in the US.

The case is notable as the first to target Murdoch's broadcast companies rather than his newspaper businesses. Murdoch's title The News of the World was shut down last year after it became infamous for a number of appalling phone-hacking episodes.

Huthart claims that her mobile phone messages were hacked to obtain stories that were then published in both The Sun and The News of the World. She was living with Ms Jolie when the alleged incidents took place, in 2004 and 2005.

The Independent reports that there are a further five cases involving Murdoch's corporations about to break in the US. His companies have already paid out more than £200m in damages to victims of phone hacking.

It is reported that as well as filing for statutory damages in California, Ms Huthart is also claiming punitive damages against News Corp and its British newspaper subsidiaries.

News Corp is currently under investigation in the US over the phone hacking scandal, which violated America's strict Foreign Corrupt Practices laws. It has recently denied that it is set to pay an $800m fine to conclude the investigation.

Ms Huthart claims that Scotland Yard notified her that her phone had been hacked during a visit to the UK and that subsequent investigation showed that messages had been deleted from her phone - messages she claims were from her husband, daughter and Ms Jolie.

"She was unaware of these illegal activities and had no reasonable opportunity to become aware of them," the claims conclude.

Source:

Angelina Jolie's former stunt double Eunice Huthart launches legal proceedings against Rupert Murdoch's US media empire over alleged phone hacking (The Independent)