News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, testifying in London in a probe into the phone-hacking scandal involving his British tabloids, continued to refuse to take the blame for misdeeds in his company, the U.K.’s Globe and Mail reports. Instead, the media mogul cited a “culture of cover-up” at the News of the World and said the paper’s editors and lawyers had deceived him.
“There is no question in my mind that maybe even the editor, but certainly beyond that, someone, took charge of a cover-up, which we were victim to and I regret,” Murdoch testified, according to the report.
The story adds: “He claimed that he’d had so little to do with the paper that its editor, Colin Myler, and lawyer, Tom Crone, had been able to conceal thousands of cases of spying, phone hacking and bribery from him and cover up his attempts at an investigation. Mr. Crone issued a statement Thursday calling this ‘a shameful lie.’”
The paper also notes: “Not only that, but at one point Mr. Murdoch complained, without a trace of irony, that he had been ‘under duress’ because of the hordes of ‘journalists and paparazzi and microphones’ following him. ‘I mean, I was being harassed,’ he said of the tabloid reporters who have followed him this week. ‘I had another 20 or so outside my apartment this morning.’”
Murdoch did show some signs of contrition, something he has rarely done in connection with the scandal. “I have to say that I failed,” he said. “And I am very sorry about it.”
He also reflected on the damage the scandal has done to his empire and his reputation.
“I think historically, this whole business of the News of the World is a serious blot on my reputation [and] it’s going to be a blot on my reputation for the rest of my life,” Murdoch said.