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Tag: Rupert Murdoch (1-7 of 7)

Kate Middleton's phone was hacked, U.K. trial reveals

Intercepted phone messages from the days when Prince William and Kate Middleton were dating were read at Britain’s phone-hacking trial Thursday — he calls her “babykins” and makes jokes about almost being shot during a military training exercise.

But the future king was in no danger — the gun was loaded with blanks, not live ammunition.

The transcripts were read at the trial of seven people, including former senior executives in Rupert Murdoch’s U.K. newspaper empire, on charges related to phone hacking and other tabloid misbehavior.

The 2006 recordings reveal the extent of media intrusion into the lives of William, second-in-line to the throne, and Middleton, who at the time was a private citizen dating a senior royal.

The recorded messages were found among the belongings of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who has been convicted of hacking the phones of aides to William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, for one of Murdoch’s tabloids.

On tape, Murdoch slams U.K. police investigation

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has been recorded saying wrongdoing by his British newspapers was “next to nothing” and apparently acknowledging that his reporters paid police officers for information.

Staffers at two of Murdoch’s British tabloids have been charged as part of police investigations into phone hacking and bribery spurred by revelations two years ago that his News of the World routinely eavesdropped on the mobile phone voicemails of celebrities, politicians, royals and crime victims.

In a tape published in transcript by the ExaroNews journalism website and broadcast Wednesday on Channel 4 News, Murdoch appeared to downplay the seriousness of the scandal and the police investigation.

Hugh Grant receives settlement for 'News of the World' phone hacking

After over a year of testimonies, actor Hugh Grant has been awarded damages for settling his claim against the News of the World regarding charges of phone hacking, The Guardian reported Friday. The Cloud Atlas star has been one of the highest profile critics of Rupert Murdoch’s organization since he received information that his personal phone had been hacked.

When reached by EW, Grant’s solicitor Mark Thomson issued the following statement, but would not comment on the settlement amount:

Hugh Grant has today settled his claims for damages and other legal remedies arising out of the unlawful activities of News of the World journalists and others over a number of years. News Group Newspapers have agreed to pay him a substantial sum by way of damages. He has instructed us to donate all of his damages plus an additional payment from him to the Hacked Off Campaign for a free and accountable media. This will be done as soon as payment is received. A statement in open court will be made shortly in the new year.


News Corp splits into print and entertainment divisions

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Thursday that it plans to split into two separate companies, one holding its newspaper business and the other its entertainment operations. Under the proposal, the global media conglomerate will be divided into two publicly traded companies. One entity will operate as a newspaper and book publishing firm. The other will be an entertainment company that includes the 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox broadcast TV network and the Fox News channel.

The Murdoch family, which controls nearly 40 percent of the voting shares in News Corp., is expected to maintain control of both companies. “There is much work to be done, but our board and I believe that this new corporate structure we are pursuing would accelerate News Corporation’s businesses to grow to new heights, and enable each company and its divisions to recognize their full potential — and unlock even greater long-term shareholder value,” Murdoch said in a statement. READ FULL STORY

Former Murdoch tabloid boss Brooks faces phone hacking charges

One of Rupert Murdoch’s most trusted lieutenants and five people close to her were charged with conspiring to hide evidence of phone hacking, bringing the scandal that has raged across Britain’s media and political elite uncomfortably close to Prime Minister David Cameron.

The charges Tuesday against former U.K. tabloid editor Rebekah Brooks, her husband Charlie and four aides are the first prosecutions since police reopened inquiries 18 months ago into wrongdoing by the country’s scandal-hungry press.

Brooks, 43, faces three separate allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice — an offense that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

For years, Brooks was the star in Murdoch’s media empire, the top editor of two of his tabloids, a friend of his daughter Elisabeth and a close friend of Cameron, who has known her husband Charlie Brooks since they both went to an elite high school. Cameron is a neighbor, a friend and an occasional horse-riding companion of the couple.

The prospect that courts will hear potentially explosive accusations against Brooks and her husband could rock both Murdoch’s global media empire and Cameron’s political career.

To critics, however, Brooks was “The Witch of Wapping” — a ruthless figure at the heart of a media company in that London neighborhood that showed little remorse over its frequently intrusive reporting on celebrities and ordinary people in thrust into the public glare.


British committee: Rupert Murdoch 'turned a blind eye' to hacking scandal

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch must take responsibility for serious failings that caused Britain’s tabloid phone hacking scandal, lawmakers said Tuesday in a scathing report — as a narrow majority also insisted the tycoon was unfit to lead his global media empire. In a report on the malpractice at Murdoch’s now shuttered News of The World tabloid, legislators accused Murdoch and his son James of overseeing a corporate culture that sought “to cover up rather than seek out wrongdoing.”

Parliament’s cross-party Culture, Media and Sport committee unanimously agreed that three key News International executives had misled Parliament by offering false accounts of their knowledge of the extent of phone hacking — a rare and serious censure that can see offenders hauled before Parliament to make a personal apology. The panel said the House of Commons would decide on the punishment meted out to the three executives: New York Daily News editor Colin Myler, a former News of The World editor; the British tabloid’s longtime lawyer Tom Crone and Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal and former board member of The Associated Press. READ FULL STORY

Rupert Murdoch cops to cover-up, panic over 'News of the World' hacking scandal -- VIDEO

News Corp. head Rupert Murdoch testified today that he panicked when he learned of the hacking scandal at his News of the World daily paper, reports CNN. The news chief — whose American holdings include Fox, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post — admitted there was a cover-up led by “one or two very strong individuals” whom he refused to name. “I also have to say that I failed,” he acknowledged, “and I am very sorry for it.” Added Murdoch, “This whole business is a serious blot on my reputation.”

Murdoch clarified, though, that News Corp. itself was not the perpetrator of the cover-up. “Someone took charge of a cover-up, which we were victim to and I regret,” he said.

Murdoch explained, “The hacking scandal was not a great national thing until the Milly Dowler disclosure,” in which News of the World staffers illegally checked the voicemail of a murdered girl, creating false hope for her parents that she might still be alive. Still, had he known how entrenched this behavior was in his organization, he “would have torn the place apart” to prevent it from spreading. “But that’s hindsight,” said Murdoch.

As for the atmosphere at News Corp. the day of the Dowler revelations, “You could feel the blast coming in the window. I can say it succinctly. I panicked. And I am sorry I did,” said Murdoch, who said he should have closed the News of the World years earlier. See video of Murdoch’s testimony below. READ FULL STORY

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