Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks was given a seven-figure severance package after resigning, it has emerged.
Senior colleagues have estimated the pay off, handed out five days after the final edition of the News of the World she used to edit, to be around £3.5million.
The final editor of the paper, Colin Myler, is believed to be in line for a £2million pay-off and two of the company's senior lawyers - Jon Chapman and Tom Crone - will both get around £1.5million, the Independent reported.
Les Hinton, chief executive of Dow Jones which publishes the Wall Street Journal, also resigned last night and is likely to receive a hefty sum.
The financial settlements will include gagging orders to stop executives discussing company matters outside of any public inquiries or criminal proceedings.
It comes as a humbled Rupert Murdoch said he had let his late father down last night as he issued a face-to-face apology to the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler over the phone hacking scandal.
He said he was ‘appalled’ to learn that his media empire had apparently tapped into Milly’s voicemails, suggesting it had failed to live up to the standards set by legendary war reporter and newspaper proprietor Sir Keith Murdoch.
The Dowlers’ lawyer Mark Lewis said 80-year-old Mr Murdoch had appeared ‘humbled, shaken and sincere’.
‘This was something that had hit him on a personal level. He apologised many times and held his head in his hands,’ Mr Lewis said. ‘He said this was not the standard set by his father.’ The astonishing scenes came as Mr Murdoch, one of the world’s most powerful businessmen, went into reverse gear over the controversy that has paralysed politics, the media and the police
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