LOS ANGELES – News Corp.’s 38-year-old heir apparent, James Murdoch, says he’s declining his $6 million bonus for the past fiscal year because of the phone hacking scandal at the British tabloid he oversaw as an executive.

Even without the bonus, he was awarded a pay package totaling $11.5 million in the fiscal year through June, a 31 percent increase from $8.8 million a year earlier, according to an Associated Press review of a securities filing.

“In light of the current controversy surrounding News of the World, I have declined the bonus that the company chose to award to me,” Murdoch, the company’s deputy chief operating officer, said in a statement. “While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do.”

The company said in the filing that Murdoch led the success of entertainment company Star India and satellite TV provider Sky Italia, as well as expanding the company’s presence in the Middle East.

Murdoch became deputy chief operating officer and international chief executive in March, a promotion from his role as CEO of Europe and Asia and chairman of News International, the tainted British newspaper unit.

The company makes no mention of Murdoch’s role in closing the under-fire tabloid, News of the World, nor does it point out that the scandal over widespread hacking by its employees forced News Corp. to drop its $12 billion takeover of lucrative pay TV operator British Sky Broadcasting.

Murdoch’s father, Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, 80, saw his pay package jump 75 percent to $29.4 million from $16.8 million the previous year, while Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey’s compensation rose 27 percent to $29.4 million.