The first US lawsuit against News Corp is launched by the stunt double for Oscar-winning actress Angelina Jolie, over allegations that the Sun and the News of the World hacked her phone.
Eunice Huthart said her mobile phone was hacked while she was working for Ms Jolie on location in Los Angeles by reporters from News Corp’s British tabloids.
Ms Huthart, who is godmother to the Holywood actor’s eldest biological child, said the hacking occurred in 2004 and 2005 while Ms Jolie was filming Mr and Mrs Smith.
A spokesman for News Corp declined to comment on the lawsuit, which was filed on 13 June. This is the first time that Rupert Murdoch’s company has fought a lawsuit in the US.
The professional stunt double said the hacking resulted in her not receiving voicemails, and that these messages provided information later used in news reports, according to the court document in US district court in California.
Ms Huthart, from Liverpool, is seeking unspecified damages. According to the court papers, she developed a close personal friendship with the Holywood star after they worked together on Beyond Borders and Tomb Raider 2.
UK viewers may recognise the stunt double from her stint as Blaze in the 1990s ITV programme Gladiators.
The allegations include stories that ran in the tabloids about Ms Jolie’s budding relationship with actor Brad Pitt, when only a tight circle of people had knowledge of it, while they were filming the movie Mr & Mrs Smith.
In one instance, Ms Huthart was instructed to meet Ms Jolie, who was checked into a hotel under the pseudonym “Pocahontas”, but the stunt double said she never received the message.
The lawsuit also said that the tabloids intercepted messages left by Ms Jolie regarding her movie career. A News of the World article with the headline “Pitt Stop for Jolie” that began “Hollywood babe Angelina Jolie has threatened to quit the movies for good,” was cited as one example by the complaint.
But the scandal has been contained in Britain until now.