Wendi Murdoch, Wife of Embattled News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch, Assaults Pie-Throwing Protester During U.K. Parliamentary Hearing
Embattled News Corp. founder and CEO Rupert Murdoch and his son James testified today before the British Parliament, claiming that they weren’t responsible for the phone-hacking scandal that has threatened the future of the company. But that wasn’t necessarily the biggest news to come out of the hearing. According to the Huffington Post, a protester named Jonathan May-Bowles hurled a pie at the senior Murdoch, calling him “greedy.” The messy attack was thwarted by Rupert’s wife Wendy, who launched at his would-be assailant in a flurry of open-fisted fury:
After the session ended, MP Tom Watson quipped: “Mr Murdoch, your wife has a very good left hook.”
Murdoch described the day as “the most humble of [his] life.” It even included a sloppy serving of actual ‘humble pie.’
On a more serious note, Murdoch told lawmakers that he was not responsible for the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, in which News Corp. employees and investigators hired by them snooped on members of the royal family, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the families of British troops killed in the War on Terror, murdered teenager Milly Dowler, victims of the July 2005 London terror attacks and, possibly, victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.
“The News of the World is less than one percent of our company,” Murdoch, who is 80 years old, told the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee. “There’s a difference between being kept in the dark and a company, a large company, in which the management is delegated,” his son James said. The elder Murdoch admitted that he may have “lost sight” of the paper because of its small size, but that any fault in the scandal lies with others. When asked who he blamed for everything, he replied: “The people that I trusted to run it, and then maybe the people that they trusted.”
But John Yates, who resigned yesterday from his post as Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner due to allegations that police officers were bribed, told Parliament that “the facts appear to be that News International have deliberately covered up” details of the scandal.
The saga continues, with former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, who was arrested on Sunday over the hacking scandal, scheduled to appear before Parliament today.
Yesterday, Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter turned whistleblower who broke the hacking scandal, was found dead in his Watford home. While police say there is nothing suspicious about his death, the cause of which is still unknown, his untimely demise has added an element of intrigue to the proceedings.
The scandal has already cost Murdoch dearly. The News of the World no longer exists, a lucrative $10 billion satellite deal has been scuttled and in the United States, the FBI is investigating the allegations of 9/11 victims’ phone-hacking. News Corp, which is based in New York, is known in the United States primarily as the parent company of Fox News, whose conservative viewers would not look kindly upon the company if it were discovered that it did indeed spy on 9/11 victims.
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