British actor Hugh Grant says it took the outrageous hacking of a dead girl’s cell phone before English investigators and politicians finally took action because lawmakers are "terrified" of media baron Rupert Murdoch.
Grant gave some insights into the British phone-hacking scandal today on NBC’s “Today” show, Mediaite.com
reports. Murdoch is chairman
of News Corp., which owns a number of newspapers in the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as Fox Broadcasting Co. Many News Corp. papers have been accused of hacking into cell phones, mostly of celebrities and politicians, to scoop the competition.
News Corp.’s News of the World was forced to fold after it was revealed that it had hacked into the cellphone of a missing girl in 2002 and deleted potential evidence from the phone’s voice mail box to clear space for new messages. This gave hope to the girl’s parents that she was still alive, though she was later found to have been murdered.
“That’s when the country really rose up in revulsion,” Grant said.
Politicians were “terrified” of Murdoch because his organization had inside information on them that it had obtained through the illegal hacking, he said. The police also were discouraged from investigating.
“Only three weeks ago, all our major politicians in this country were sucking up to Rupert Murdoch and drinking champagne on his lawn at his summer party, so it is almost comic that today in Parliament they’re all competing to say he’s a terrible person,” he said.
The actor said U.S. citizens should be concerned because of Murdoch’s wide media holdings in the United States. He also noted allegations that News of the World had hacked into phones of 9/11 victims.
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