Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch has made a personal donation of £1m to six charities chosen by the Dowler family

Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

News International confirmed today that it had reached a financial settlement to pay the family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler £2 million in compensation, with Rupert Murdoch donating an additional £1 million to six charities.

A joint statement issued by the publisher and the Dowler family said that the six charities chosen "represent causes close to Milly and those that provide support to other victims of crime".

They are: Shooting Star Chase, Child Victims of Crime, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Hampton Pool Trust,, and Cancer Research.

The settlement follows the Dowler family's decision to sue News International after the Guardian revealed that the News of the World had accessed the voicemail of her daughter while she was missing and deleted messages, giving them false hope that she was alive.

The Dowler family said: "Nothing that has been agreed will ever bring back Milly or undo the traumas of her disappearance and the horrendous murder trial earlier this year.

"The only way that a fitting tribute could be agreed was to ensure that a very substantial donation to charity was made in Milly's memory. We hope that projects will be undertaken so that some good can come from this."

Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, said in the statement: "When I met  with the Dowlers in July I expressed how deeply sorry I was for the hurt we had caused this family.

"The behaviour that the News of the World exhibited towards the Dowlers was abhorrent and I hope this donation underscores my regret for the company's role in this awful event. I also hope that through the personal donation something positive can be done in memory of their daughter."

News International confirmed in September that it was in "advanced negotiation" with the Dowlers over a compensation settlement, with the figures accurately reported as £2 million for the family and £1 million for the charities involved.

The total £3 million payout is believed to be the highest ever compensation payment made by a newspaper.

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