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Many of the statements ended with victims saying they felt vindicated after years in which Murdoch’s company denied phone hacking had been widespread at the News of the World. The company had initially vowed to fight the claims in court.

“Today’s court decision at long last brings clarity, apology and compensation for the years of hacking into my telephone messages by Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers,” Prescott told his local newspaper, the Hull Daily Mail. “It follows years of aggressive denials and a cavalier approach to private information and the law.”

The claimants described feeling mistrust, fear and paranoia as phone messages went missing, journalists knew their movements in advance or private information appeared in the media.

Frost said the paper’s activity had caused her and Law to suspect one another. Henson said he accused the family of his then-wife, singer Charlotte Church, of leaking stories to the press.

Other claimants included Guy Pelly, a friend of Prince William who was awarded 40,000 pounds (about $62,000), and Tom Rowland, a journalist who wrote for one of Murdoch’s own newspapers, the Sunday Times. He received 25,000 pounds ($39,000) after News Group admitted hacking his phone.

In a handful of cases the company admitted hacking into emails, as well as telephone voice mails. Christopher Shipman, whose father, Dr. Harold Shipman, was a notorious serial killer thought to have murdered more than 200 of his patients, had emails containing sensitive legal and medical information intercepted by the News of the Word. He was awarded “substantial” undisclosed damages.

The settlements announced Thursday amount to more than half of the phone-hacking lawsuits facing Murdoch’s company, but the number of victims is estimated to be in the hundreds.

Mark Lewis, a lawyer for many victims, said in an email that the fight against Murdoch’s media empire wasn’t over.

“While congratulations are due to those (lawyers) and clients who have settled their cases, it is important that we don’t get carried away into thinking that the war is over,” Lewis said. “Fewer than 1 percent of the people who were hacked have settled their cases. There are many more cases in the pipeline. … This is too early to celebrate, we’re not even at the end of the beginning.”

Many victims had earlier settled with the company, including actress Sienna Miller — whose on-again, off-again romance with Law generated widespread press interest — and the parents of murdered teenager Dowler, who were awarded 2 million pounds (about $3.1 million) in compensation.

Ten further cases are due to go to court next month, though lawyers said more settlements are likely.

Associated Press writer Raphael Satter contributed to this report.