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News of the World Phone-Hacking Whistleblower Found Dead

He had battled with drugs and alcohol in the past.

The News of the World (NOTW) phone-hacking debacle took yet another unexpected turn Monday when the key whistleblower in the scandal was found dead in his London home.

Sean Hoare, the former NOTW showbiz reporter who was first to come out and accuse then-editor Andy Coulson of ordering widespread phone hacking, was reportedly found dead this morning.  The scrutiny surrounding Coulson, on the other hand, is intensified by the fact that he also once served as an adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to the Guardian, Hoare was allegedly dismissed from both The Sun and NOTW over claims he had a drug and alcohol problem, however, Hoare believed his past addictions were " irrelevant" to the facts he was bringing to light.

Then, just this Monday, police reportedly found Hoare dead in his north London home. The Guardian reports:

Hertfordshire police would not confirm his identity, but the force said in a statement: "At 10.40am today [Monday 18 July] police were called to Langley Road, Watford, following the concerns for the welfare of a man who lives at an address on the street. Upon police and ambulance arrival at a property, the body of a man was found. The man was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after.

According to The Guradian, Hoare first made his claims against NOTW in a New York Times investigation into the alleged phone-hacking scandal.

Apparently Hoare told the Times that not only did Coulson know about the phone-hacking, he encouraged staff to actively participate in it. Coulson reportedly denied Hoare's the claims.

Still, despite the seemingly suspicious timing of Hoare's death, police have yet to cite "foul play:"

"The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing."
One last thing…
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