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Virgin Atlantic employee resigns after allegations alerted paparazzi to celebrity passengers
LONDON (AP) ' A Virgin Atlantic employee has resigned following newspaper allegations that she fed information about the company's celebrity clientele to a paparazzi agency, the airline said Friday.
Virgin said that the employee, a junior member of the Virgin team tasked with looking after high-profile clients, quit on Thursday ahead of reports published in the Guardian and the Press Gazette alleging that she'd been passing their booking information to paparazzi agency Big Pictures.
In a statement, the company called the allegations "extremely serious" and said it had launched an investigation.
"The incident that has been alleged concerns eight customers' flights booked in 2010 and we are in contact with all of those people," the statement said.
Neither Virgin nor the newspapers identified the employee in question, although the Guardian said it had contacted her on Wednesday and that she had declined comment.
Both papers said they'd seen messages which apparently caught the employee using her private email address to share flight numbers, departure times, and arrival information with Big Pictures Ltd., a London-based celebrity picture agency.
A man who answered the phone at Big Pictures hung up when an Associated Press reporter identified himself as a member of the media. Emails sent to the personal assistant to the company's founder, Darren Lyons, weren't immediately returned.
The Guardian report: http://gu.com/p/36yd7/tw
The Press Gazette report: http://bit.ly/HPDhwW