Who's Who in News Corp. Hacking Scandal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- News Corp.'s ( NWSA) phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. has snowballed, with 10 people having been arrested in the case and dozens of others being linked to the corruption.

Since the beginning of July, there has been a whirlwind of accusations surrounding Rupert Murdoch's media empire that has plagued British government and law officials.

Victims have included a slain schoolgirl, celebrities, politicians and potentially even Sept. 11 terrorist victims.

The scandal has called into question the integrity and future of News Corp. Shares of the company have fallen more than 13% since the investigation, which has been ongoing for years, resurfaced on July 4.

With new reports emerging daily, the list of those involved continues to grow.

Read on for a look at the major players entwined in News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal.

Hugh Grant

Actor Hugh Grant won a court ruling in the hacking scandal, with a High Court judge ordering police to hand over documentation that could reveal his phone messages were intercepted by a private detective working for News of the World.

Grant has been a harsh critic of News of the World amid the hacking scandal and is a member of the Hacked Off lobby group, which has campaigned for a inquiry into illegal eavesdropping by newspapers.

Grant isn't the only celebrity that has allegedly been a target for the now shuttered British tabloid. Sienna Miller settled a phone-hacking suit against the company last month.

Sean Hoare

The former News of the World reporter at the center of the phone-hacking scandal has been found dead.

Sean Hoare originally alleged that Andy Coulson was aware of phone-hacking by his staff.

According to The Guardian, Hoare was found dead in his home, but police have not confirmed his identity. Authorities have said that the death is currently being treated as unexplained, but it is not believed to be suspicious. Police are currently investigating the incident.

Rupert Murdoch

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is struggling to retain control of the empire he began building six decades ago.

In only two weeks, Murdoch has been forced to shutter the 168-year-old British tabloid News of the World and pull his highly-anticipated bid for British Sky Broadcasting ( BSY).

And Murdoch's troubles may not be confined to the U.K., with the FBI having begun preliminary inquiries in the U.S. into potential hacking of the phones of Sept. 11 victims.

The Australian-born 80-year-old chairman and CEO of News Corp. started his media conglomerate overseas but now controls some of the biggest media outlets in the U.S., including the The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and the Fox TV Network.

Murdoch purchased Dow Jones, parent of the Journal, for $5.7 billion in 2007.

In Britain, Murdoch still owns The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, as well as about 40% of BSkyB.

Murdoch answered questions in Parliament on July 19, saying it was the most "humble" day of his life. But the media mogul refused to take blame for the corruption, denying knowing about any illegal practices that took place at his company.

During the hearing, a protestor threw a plate filled with foam in Murdoch's face, a move meant to embarrass, but which many are saying may have actually ignited sympathy for Murdoch.

Reports have surfaced saying Murdoch may be stepping down as CEO in the immediate future to be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey.

But it's unlikely, at least for now, that Murdoch's job is in jeopardy, as he controls 40% of News Corp.'s voting stock through a family trust and the company's board includes many supporters.

Murdoch is one of the richest people in the world, with Forbes magazine reporting his fortune at $7.6 billion.

James Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch's son, James, 38, is chairman of British Sky Broadcasting and chief executive of his father's European and Asian operations.

James Murdoch did not directly oversee the News of the World, but he did approve the payments to some of the paper's hacking victims, including $1.1 million to Gordon Taylor, the chief of the Professional Footballers' Association.

Murdoch admitted to the payments, saying News International had accidentally misled Parliament. In a recent statement, he said: "The company paid out-of-court settlements approved by me. I now know that I did not have a complete picture when I did so. This was wrong and is a matter of serious regret."

James Murdoch answered Parliament's questions alongside his father on July 19, doing most of the talking. His control at the hearing may have boosted his chances of succeeding his father and could have saved his job as BSkyB chairman.

Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks, who up until last week was the chief of News International, was arrested over the weekend in London.

On Sunday, Brooks went to a London police station voluntarily for her appointment and was questioned for nine hours. Police arrested Brooks on suspicion of corruption and conspiring to intercept communications. She was released on bail around midnight.

Brooks appeared before Parliament's Culture, Media and Sports Committee on Tuesday to answer questions, maintaining that she was unaware of the phone-hacking allegations.

In 2003, Brooks told a select committee that News of the World has paid police for information in the past and later clarified her statement to say she did not know of specific corrupt payments.

Brooks resigned on July 15 from News International, which publishes News Corp.'s international publications. Brooks previously served as editor of News of the World from 2000 until 2003, when most of the phone-hacking allegedly took place before being promoted in 2009.

Murdoch adamantly supported Brooks, and she has often been referred to in the media as Murdoch's "surrogate daughter." Brooks had kept her job, albeit temporarily, even after Murdoch shuttered News of the World.

David Cameron

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron cut his trip to Africa short in order to get a handle on the News Corp. scandal. Cameron reduced his trip to South Africa to just two days.

Cameron called for an emergency session of Parliament to brief lawmakers on the phone-hacking scandal. Parliament is due to break for the summer on Tuesday following its questioning of Rupert and James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, but Cameron wants Parliament to meet on Wednesday so he can make an additional statement.

Cameron's relationship with Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor, has come under fire. Coulson stepped down from the tabloid in 2007 following the arrest of a reporter for phone-hacking. He was then hired as Cameron's head of communications, a position he held from 2007 until January 2011.

The prime minister has also been criticized for his friendship with Rebekah Brooks.

The crisis has raised concerns over Cameron's leadership.

Andy Coulson

Andy Coulson stepped down from his post as News of the World editor in 2007, after a reporter was jailed for phone-hacking. Coulson denied knowledge of any illegal activities at the newspaper.

Coulson ran News of the World between 2003 and 2007, succeeding Rebekah Brooks.

Coulson went on to serve as Prime Minister David Cameron's head of communications, a position he held from 2007 until January 2011. Cameron's link to Coulson has come under fire, but the prime minister has only praised the work Coulson has done serving the government.

Coulson was arrested on July 8 over suspicions that he knew about, or had direct involvement in, the hacking of mobile phones during his editorship.

Paul Stephenson

British police chief Paul Stephenson quit on Sunday over his relationship to a former News of the World journalist.

Stephenson is being linked to Neil Wallis, a former editor at the tabloid. The London police hired Wallis as a public relations consultant, a role he held for a year. Stephenson defended the appointment by saying that Wallis was hired before he was associated with any wrongdoing at News of the World and that he himself did not hire Wallis for the job.

Stephenson said that he refrained from telling Cameron about Wallis' arrest in advance for fear of compromising the prime minister due to his relationship with Andy Coulson.

In his resignation, Stephenson threw Cameron under the bus, saying the hiring of Wallis is different than Cameron hiring Coulson, because Coulson had been linked to the scandal before he was hired as director of communications for the prime minister.

While Stephenson insisted he has done nothing wrong in the scandal, he said he did not want to distract from preparing for the security for next year's London Olympics.

Stephenson became police chief in 2009.

Les Hinton

Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones and former chairman of News International, resigned on Friday, becoming the first of Murdoch's cronies in the U.S. to be hit by the scandal.

Hinton had worked for more than 50 years with Murdoch, starting as a copy boy at 15. He joined Dow Jones in 2007 following Murdoch's purchase of the company and previously served as chairman of News International for 12 years.

Hinton also has held positions as president and CEO of News America Publishing, the unit responsible for News Corp.'s U.S. publishing operations, as well as chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations.

In his resignation, Hinton said he never knew about the hacking at News of the World. In 2007 and 2009, he assured British Parliament that phone-hacking was limited to just one reporter, a claim that proved to be untrue.

An independent committee tasked with monitoring editorial integrity at The Wall Street Journal said Saturday it is not aware of any wrongdoing at the newspaper or Dow Jones. It also said that it does not believe Hinton's resignation was related to activities as the Journal or its parent.

Neil Wallis

Neil Wallis, a former editor at News of the World, was arrested on July 14 on suspicion of intercepting phone calls, becoming the ninth person to be incarcerated in the scandal.

Wallis joined News of the World in 2003 from People, serving as deputy to then editor Andy Coulson. In 2007, Wallis became executive editor and left the company in 2009.

Wallis then served as a communications consultant for the police from 2009 to 2010. Former British police chief, Paul Stephenson, came under fire for his relationship with Wallis, prompting Stephenson to resign on Sunday.

John Yates

The London Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates submitted his resignation on July 18 amid News Corp.'s phone-hacking scandal.

Yates' resignation came as the Metropolitan Police Authority's professional standards cases subcommittee held a meeting to consider complaints against the officer. The MPA had decided to suspend Yates pending an inquiry.

In 2009, Yates, the country's top counterterrorism officer, decided not to reopen police inquiries into phone-hacking, claiming he did not believe there was any new evidence to consider. In recent weeks, he has said that he regrets that decision. But he assured the committee that all of the information he has provided has been in good faith.

Milly Dowler

Milly Dowler is the 13-year-old girl whose murder ignited News of the World's phone-hacking scandal.

Earlier in the month, reports surfaced alleging that the British tabloid broke into the schoolgirl's phone when she went missing in 2002. It is being claimed that a private investigator who worked for News of the World deleted messages on the phone, interfering with police activity and making her parents believe she was still alive.

The Guardian, which was the first to report these claims, said that after Milly's voicemail became full, investigator Glenn Mulcaire deleted messages he already listened to in order to make room for others. This gave false hope to her family who thought Milly cleared the messages herself.

The newspaper also alleged that another private investigator, Steve Whittamore, illegally obtained ex-directory numbers for families with the last name Dowler living on Walton-on-Thames, where Milly lived.

Dowler disappeared on her way home in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey on March 21, 2002. Her killer, Levi Bellfield, wasn't convicted of the crime until June 2011.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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