He was recently summoned to testify for a phone hacking and bribery scandal; he was humbled and embarrassed, but does not feel personally responsible. He stated that he was at fault for trusting the wrong people that were a part of his media empire. Murdoch explained that News of the World is only a small part of his company and he only spoke to the editor of this paper about once a month. He also stated that he was unaware that the company had paid 1.1 million in one case to settle lawsuits by phone hacking victims. He closed News of the World due to the criminal allegations. This scandal has rocked his business empire and involved Britain’s top police, politicians, and journalists.
This scandal involves private detectives hacking phones, police being bribed for news tips, politicians being wined and dined, and a murdered teenager whose phone messages were intercepted. The scandal began in 2005, when the News of the World published a story about Prince William’s knee injury. Officials became suspicious and alerted the police, which led to reporters of the newspaper and a private investigator being jailed.
The Guardian newspaper discovered that Murdoch’s papers had paid more than 1.6 million dollars to settle lawsuits involving allegations of eavesdropping on phone messages. On July 4, an allegation came about that the News of the World may have hacked into the phone of Milly Dowler, a 13-year old murder victim, in an effort to get material for news stories.
Murdoch recently sent a letter to employees of his News Corp giving hope of a stronger company. He states in the letter that it will take time to rebuild trust and confident, but things will be made right.
On Tuesday, July 19, while Murdoch was testifying at the hearing, an attacker splattered Murdoch with a shaving foam pie. Murdoch’s wife, Wendi, was sitting behind him at the hearing. She made a swing for the attacker, splattering him with his own pie.
Murdoch wants to stop this crisis from spreading to the United States where many of his companies such as Fox TV Network, 20th Century Fox, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post, are located.