A former stunt double for Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has launched a lawsuit against News Corporation in Los Angeles.
The case marks the first phone-hacking claim in the US against Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
British-born Eunice Huthart lodged the claim in Los Angeles last Friday. She alleged that News Corporation journalists hacked into her mobile phone messages to obtain information about Jolie while she was working alongside the actress in 2004 and 2005.
The messages were used as the basis for stories published in The Sun and The News of the World, it is alleged.
According to The Independent, the alleged incidents occurred while Huther was sharing a house with Jolie during the filming of Mr & Mrs Smith. It was while making the film that stories broke about Jolie’s relationship with co-star Brad Pitt.
The paper also reported that the case is the first of up to six cases due to be brought against News Corp in the US, all related to the entertainment industry.
Mark Lewis, who is acting for a number of British celebrities who believe they have been victims of phone hacking, is acting as Huthart’s UK legal adviser. Her US attorney, Norman Siegal, lodged the claim.
Lewis confirmed that papers had been filed but would not be drawn on whether more hacking-related law suits were set to follow.
Huthart, who is a former star of British TV series Gladiators, claims she did not receive voicemails from her husband and daughter at the time when the hacking took place, according to The Independent.
News Corp declined to comment.