PHONE HACKS: A Guide To The News Corp. Scandal

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

The News Corporation phone hacking and bribery story has brought down executives, reporters, editors, and government officials. Here is a list of arrests, convictions, firings, suspensions, and resignations that have occurred during the scandal.

Index

James Desborough
Greg Miskiw
Stuart Kuttner
Matt Nixson
Les Hinton
Rebekah Brooks
Andy Coulson
Neil Wallis
Paul Stephenson
John Yates
Tom Crone
Lon Jacobs
Glenn Mulcaire
Ian Edmondson
Clive Goodman
Neville Thurlbeck
Sean Hoare
James Weatherup
Dan Evans

James Desborough

Job At News Corp.: Showbusiness and news reporter, News of the World, 2005-2009; U.S. editor, News of the World, 2009-2011

Status: Arrested, 8/18/11

What Happened:

"British police investigating a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's defunct News of the World have arrested a senior Hollywood reporter at the tabloid, James Desborough, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Police said they had arrested a 38-year-old man on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications after arriving at a south London police station Thursday morning by appointment. Desborough joined the News of the World in 2005 as a showbusiness and news reporter and was promoted to become U.S. editor, based in Los Angeles, in 2009. He worked for the News of the World up until it closed last month. The Guardian newspaper's website said the allegations were believed to relate to events before Desborough was sent to the United States." [Reuters, 8/18/11]

Greg Miskiw

Job At News Corp.: News Editor, News of the World

Status: Reportedly arrested, 8/10/11

What Happened:

"A 61-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of phone hacking, Scotland Yard has said. The BBC understands he is former News of the World news editor, Greg Miskiw. He was arrested by officers from the Met Police's hacking investigation, Operation Weeting, after visiting a police station by appointment. ... Former news editor Mr Miskiw is the 12th person arrested and is being held on suspicion of unlawful interception of communications and conspiring to intercept communications." [BBC, 8/10/11]

Stuart Kuttner

Job At News Corp.: Managing Editor, News of the World, 1987-2009

Status: Arrested, 8/2/11

What Happened:

"Stuart Kuttner, the public face of the News of the World and its most vocal public defender for 22 years, has been arrested by police investigating allegations of phone hacking and of bribing police officers to leak sensitive information. ... Kuttner is believed to have been arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to the Criminal Law Act 1977, and on suspicion of corruption contrary to the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. They are the same allegations that Rebekah Brooks, the former News of the World editor and ex-News International chief executive, faces since her arrest last month. When Brooks faced a Commons culture, media and sport select committee hearing last month, she told MPs that payments to private investigators were the responsibility of the paper's managing editor's office." [The Guardian, 8/2/11]

Matt Nixson

Job At News Corp.: Features Editor, News of the World, 2005-2006; News Editor, News of the World, 2006-2011; Features Editor, The Sun, 2011

Status: Fired, 7/21/11

What Happened:

"Matt Nixson, features editor at The Sun, maintains his innocence, but reports say he has been let go because of evidence from emails that he knew something about phone hacking. News Corp. has issued a statement saying that Nixson was dismissed in relation to 'previous work' at News of the World." [Reuters, 7/21/11]

"It is reported that Nixson, who now worked as a features editor at The Sun, was marched from his desk at the company's Wapping HQ by security staff." [The Daily Mail, 7/21/11]

Les Hinton

Job At News Corp.: Executive chairman of News International (News Corp.'s British newspaper group), 1995-2007; CEO of Dow Jones, 2007-2011

Status: Resigned, 7/15/11

What Happened:

"Hinton was chairman of News International, the UK newspaper arm of Rupert Murdoch's empire, from 1995 to 2007 - the period in which much of the phone hacking was done by the News of the World. He has been accused of giving misleading information to parliament on two occasions, in 2007 and 2009, by saying there was no evidence of widespread malpractice within the company." [The Guardian, 7/15/11]

"Debonair and unflappable, former journalist Les Hinton served as Rupert Murdoch's consigliere for over a decade, smoothing the ruffled feathers of the rich and powerful whenever they were on the receiving end of stories published in News International's stable of titles." [The Guardian, 7/8/09]

"Les Hinton, the top executive of Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones & Co, resigned on Friday after becoming a target of criticism for the phone-hacking scandal that occurred when he oversaw News Corp's British newspapers. [Reuters, 7/15/11]

Rebekah Brooks

Job At News Corp.: Editor of News of the World, 2000-2003; editor of The Sun, 2003-2009; CEO of News International, 2009-2011.

Status: Resigned, 7/15/11; Arrested, 7/17/11

What Happened:

"Rebekah Brooks, a top executive in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media empire before resigning Friday in the wake of a phone hacking scandal, was arrested Sunday by Scotland Yard in a broadening probe into illicit newsgathering. Police confirmed a 43-year-old woman was taken into custody Sunday on charges of conspiring to intercept communications and on corruption allegations, a reference to bribes made to police officers for news tips. Widespread British media reports identified the woman as Brooks, making her the highest-ranking News Corp official yet to be arrested in the case." [The Washington Post, 7/17/11]

"Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the News of the World tabloid, resigned Friday as head of the British newspaper division of Rupert Murdoch's media empire, saying she had become a focal point of the scandal in a way that was jeopardizing the company. ... Rising to the post of chief executive of News Corp.'s British operation, Brooks has long been one of Murdoch's favorites, a woman with trademark flaming red hair whom he once described as like a 'daughter.' She headed News of the World from 2000 to 2003, a time when the paper allegedly routinely used illegal phone hacks to gather insider tidbits from both celebrities and ordinary citizens, going as far as to interfere in a police investigation of a young girl who was kidnapped and killed in 2002." [The Washington Post, 7/15/11]

"Pressure has intensified on 43-year-old Brooks to stand down since the hacking scandal re-erupted following the Guardian's disclosure on 4 July that private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, working for the News of the World, allegedly hacked into Dowler's mobile phone between her disappearance and the discovery of her body in 2002." [The Guardian, 7/15/11]

Andy Coulson

Job At News Corp.: Deputy editor of News of the World, 2000-2003; Editor of News Of The World, 2003 - 2007

Job In Government/Politics: Director of communications for the Conservative Party, 2007 - 2010; Director of communications for Prime Minister David Cameron, 2010 - 2011

Status: Resigned from News of the World, 1/26/07; Resigned from government, 1/21/11; Arrested, 7/8/11

What Happened:

"He became deputy editor of the News of the World in 2000, acting as a tough and disciplined lieutenant to Rebekah Brooks. In a hearing before a parliamentary committee in 2003, the more freewheeling Mrs Brooks admitted that News International had at times paid police officers for information. A stony-faced Coulson quickly shut down the line of questioning. He succeeded his flame-haired mentor, and close friend, later that year and presided over the paper until 2007. While allegations of phone hacking had rumbled quietly for years, they crashed into the public eye with the conviction of the paper's royal correspondent Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire. He quit in January of that year, the day convictions came through, saying he took 'ultimate responsibility' for the scandal but claimed he was unaware the hacking was taking place. But he wasn't out of a job for long. In May 2007, he was hired by David Cameron as the Conservative Party's director of communication, tasked with bringing a bit of tabloid directness to a party in need of definition." [The Telegraph, 7/8/11]

"The prime minister's communications chief Andy Coulson has resigned, blaming coverage of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Mr Coulson said coverage had 'made it difficult for me to give the 110% needed in this role.' He faced pressure after claims about phone hacking while he was editor." [BBC, 1/21/11]

"Andy Coulson, the prime minister's former press spokesman, has been arrested and is being held in custody at a police station in south London. Scotland Yard said that at 10.30am on Friday officers from Operation Weeting - the phone-hacking inquiry - and a team investigating illegal payments to police officers within the Metropolitan force arrested a 43-year-old man who had arrived by appointment. Scotland Yard said he was being held in custody and would be questioned in connection with allegations of corruption and phone hacking." [Guardian, 7/8/11]

Neil Wallis

Job At News Corp.: Deputy editor of The Sun, 1993-1998; deputy editor of News of the World, 2003-2007; executive editor of News of the World, 2007-2009

Job In Government: Part-time strategic communications adviser for the Metropolitan Police Service, 2009-2010.

Status: Arrested, 7/14/11

What Happened:

"Neil Wallis, 60, deputy editor of News of the World when Andy Coulson was editor, was arrested on July 14 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications. Wallis, who was previously a deputy editor of the Sun and editor of The People, became executive editor of the News of the World in 2007." [Reuters, 7/15/11]

"From October 2009 to September 2010, Wallis's part-time work at the Met involved strategic communications, advising the commissioner and the assistant commissioner, John Yates, as the force said there was no need to reopen the criminal investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World. The Guardian understands Wallis was approached to apply for the two-day-a-month contract with the Met after discussions which involved the most senior figures in the force. He was the lowest bidder after a tender process and was paid more than £1,000 a day, earning £24,000." [The Guardian, 7/17/11]

Paul Stephenson

Job In Government: Acting commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, 2008 - 2009; Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, 2009 - 2011

Status: Resigned, 7/17/11

What Happened:

"Britain's top police officer has resigned and turned on the prime minister in a dramatic escalation of the phone-hacking scandal. In a carefully worded resignation speech that appeared aimed directly at Downing Street, Sir Paul Stephenson, the commissioner of the Metropolitan police, said the prime minister risked being 'compromised' by his closeness to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson. Number 10 stressed that David Cameron had not been pressing in private for Stephenson to stand aside. But he was caught by surprise by the attack, which came just while the prime minister was on a plane en route to South Africa. Stephenson denied that he was resigning over allegations that he accepted £12,000 worth of hospitality from Champney's health spa, focusing instead on his decision not to inform the prime minister that the Met had employed Coulson's former deputy Neil Wallis as a strategic adviser." [The Guardian, 7/18/11]

John Yates

Job In Government: Assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, 2006 - 2011

Status: Resigned, 7/18/11

What Happened:

"Met Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates has quit after growing pressure amid the phone-hacking scandal. Mr Yates checked the credentials of Neil Wallis before the Met employed the former News of the World executive, arrested last week over hacking claims." [BBC, 7/18/11]

"Mr. Yates, who was the police official in charge of counterterrorism, was asked in 2009 to determine whether to reopen an investigation into allegations that the News of the World, had regularly hacked the cellphone messages of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. He decided against reopening the inquiry, a decision that he admitted last week was the wrong one." [New York Times, 7/18/11]


Tom Crone

Job At News Corp.: "Senior lawyer who vetted News of the World stories for more than 20 years." [The Independent, 7/13/11]

Status: Reportedly left the company on July 13. "News International declined to confirm whether he resigned or was asked to leave." [The Independent, 7/13/11]

What Happened:

"The senior lawyer who vetted News of the World stories for more than 20 years has left the newspaper's publisher as the phone-hacking scandal continues to grow. Tom Crone has stepped down as legal manager of News International, which also publishes the Sun and the Times, after 26 years at the company, a source said. His main responsibility was to advise the News of World and the Sun on legal matters relating to editorial before and after publication. News International declined to confirm whether he resigned or was asked to leave." [The Independent, 7/13/11]


Lon Jacobs

Job At News Corp.: Deputy general counsel at News Corp., 1996-2004; general counsel at News Corp, 2004-2011

Status: Reportedly departed voluntarily in June 2011

What Happened:

"Lawrence 'Lon' Jacobs, the general counsel of media giant News Corp. and a close confidant to Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, is leaving the company. Jacobs, 56, has been with News Corp. for 15 years and has served as its general counsel since 2004. He also has played a key role in several major media deals, including the company's purchase of the Wall Street Journal. 'I will always be grateful to Lon not only for his wise counsel, but for his key role in helping build News Corporation into one of the world's largest and most successful diversified media companies,' Murdoch said in statement. The departure of Jacobs comes at a crucial time for the company as it tries to clean up a legal mess in Britain having to do with an investigation into phone hacking of celebrities and politicians by News Corp.-owned newspapers. One black mark on Jacobs tenure was News Corp.'s settling a lawsuit filed against it by Valassis Communications, a coupon company that charged that the media giant was engaged in anti-competitve practices. News Corp. paid $500 million to settle the lawsuit." [LA Times, Company Town blog, 6/8/11]

"Mr. Jacobs's resignation comes at a time when News Corporation is still dealing with the repercussions of a far-reaching phone hacking operation at one of its London newspapers, The News of the World. While Mr. Jacobs is not known to have had any involvement in the matter, he was the highest ranking legal officer in the media conglomerate during a period when the subsidiary that owns The News of the World, News International, was forced to apologize and pay out settlements to celebrities and others who had their phone voice mail systems hacked." [The New York Times, 6/8/11]

Glenn Mulcaire

Job At News Corp.: Private investigator hired by News of the World

Status: Pleaded guilty, 1/26/07

What Happened:

"A private investigator in Cheam has been jailed for six months for unlawfully intercepting messages from Princes Harry and William. Glenn Mulcaire, 36, immediately issued an apology through his barrister to the royal household for the gross invasion of privacy. The former AFC Wimbledon footballer had signed a contract with the News of the World worth £104,988 for 'research and information'." [Wimbledon Guardian, 2/2/07]

"Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the centre of the News of the World phone-hacking case, passed phone intercept information to several individuals working on the tabloid's news desk, the high court heard today. The private eye - who was on a £100,000-a-year contract with the News of the World - was quoted in court documents as saying that he dealt with a number of people on the news desk at the tabloid and cannot recall precisely who received certain items of information." [Guardian, 2/18/11]

Ian Edmondson

Job At News Corp.: News of the World assistant editor

Status: Arrested in April 2011 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept phone messages

What Happened:

"April 5: Detectives arrest the News of the World's former news editor Ian Edmondson ... on suspicion of conspiring to intercept phone messages." [AFP, 7/15/11]

"Ian Edmondson, who has been suspended from active duties after allegations that he was linked to phone hacking at the News of the World, was one of Andy Coulson's inner circle of executives when David Cameron's director of communications was editor of the paper, according to a former reporter on the tabloid. As assistant editor (news), he was one of a handful of senior employees who would discuss sensitive stories privately after editorial meetings had taken place. 'You had an elite and Edmondson was definitely in on that and enjoyed being in on that,' the former reporter said. 'There would be [the editorial] conference in the morning, then the news desk would be back in [to Coulson's office] and it was discussed in privacy. Then the stories would be dished out [to reporters].' Edmondson was hired by Neil Wallis, then Coulson's deputy editor at the paper, in November 2004 as a news executive although, according to the former News of the World source, 'Edmondson reported directly to Andy because he was the editor. Wallis had a nice title and a bit of power ... but Andy was in charge of that paper.' ... Edmondson had been a reporter at the News of the World but left to take up a more senior role at the Sunday People in early 2000, before Coulson became editor in 2003. Coulson promoted Edmondson to assistant editor (news) in October 2005." [The Guardian, 1/6/11]

Clive Goodman

Job At News Corp.: Former News of the World royal editor

Status: Pleaded guilty, 2007; arrested again, 7/8/11

What Happened:

"Clive Goodman, 53, former News of the World royal editor, was arrested at his home on July 8 because of allegations that he bribed police for stories. Goodman had previously been jailed for four months in 2007 for writing stories that used information gleaned from phone hacking by private detective Glen Mulcaire." [Reuters, 7/15/11]

Neville Thurlbeck

Job At News Corp.: News of the World's chief reporter

Status: Arrested, 4/5/11

What Happened:

"[A]rrested on April 5 on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and unlawful interception of voicemail messages." [Reuters, 7/15/11]

Sean Hoare

Job At News Corp.: Former show-business reporter for News of the World

Status: Fired in 2005; Questioned by police, September 2010

What Happened:

"Sean Hoare, the former News of the World showbiz reporter who was the first named journalist to allege Andy Coulson was aware of phone hacking by his staff, has been found dead, the Guardian has learned. Hoare, who worked on the Sun and the News of the World with Coulson before being dismissed for drink and drugs problems, is said to have been found dead at his Watford home. ... 'The death is currently being treated as unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious. Police investigations into this incident are ongoing.' " [The Guardian, 7/18/11]

"Sean Hoare, a former reporter and onetime close friend of Coulson's, also recalled discussing hacking. The two men first worked together at The Sun, where, Hoare said, he played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson. At News of the World, Hoare said he continued to inform Coulson of his pursuits. Coulson 'actively encouraged me to do it,' Hoare said. Hoare said he was fired during a period when he was struggling with drugs and alcohol. He said he was now revealing his own use of the dark arts -- which included breaking into the messages of celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham -- because it was unfair for the paper to pin the blame solely on Goodman. Coulson declined to comment for this article but has maintained that he was unaware of the hacking." [New York Times, 9/1/10]

"A lawyer for Sean Hoare, a former News of the World reporter who has said he was involved in a phone hacking scandal, said that Mr. Hoare had been questioned by detectives about whether Andy Coulson, the newspaper's editor at the time, had asked him to hack phones. Mr. Coulson, now the communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron, has denied knowing anything about the hacking. After several former employees said in an article in The New York Times Magazine that phone hacking had been widespread under Mr. Coulson, Scotland Yard said it might reopen an investigation. Mr. Hoare appeared to be the first person to have been questioned in the new inquiry." [New York Times, 9/14/10]

James Weatherup

Job At News Corp.: Assistant news editor, News of the World 2004-2011

Status: Arrested, 4/14/11

What Happened:

"James Weatherup, the latest News of the World journalist to be arrested in Scotland Yard's new investigation into phone hacking, was at the heart of Andy Coulson's team when David Cameron's former media adviser was editor of the paper. He was brought back from the Sunday Mirror by Coulson in 2004 to become news editor of the News International red-top, a demanding desk job - before returning to a reporting role two years later. However, he retained his title as assistant news editor as a mark of seniority." [The Guardian, 4/14/11]

"Weatherup's arrest stunned those at the highest level of the paper. News International executives have been saying privately that they were confident Edmondson and Thurlbeck were the only staffers still working at the paper who were likely to be implicated in hacking. The Met was so determined to conceal the new direction of its investigation that Weatherup, 55, was not given notice that he was being investigated by police officers. [The Guardian, 4/15/11]

Dan Evans

Job At News Corp.: Feature writer, News of the World

Status: Suspended, April 2010; Reportedly arrested, 8/19/11

What Happened:

"The material - a high court document and a brief statement from lawyers - shows that Kelly Hoppen, an interior designer who is stepmother to the actor Sienna Miller, is suing the News of the World and one of its feature writers, Dan Evans, for 'accessing or attempting to access her voicemail messages between June 2009 and March 2010'. The Guardian has previously reported that Dan Evans was suspended in April last year. Details of the case remain concealed by court orders. However, a senior News International executive has claimed that Dan Evans's defence is that he phoned Hoppen's number for legitimate reasons and accidentally accessed her voicemail when the keys on his phone got stuck." [The Guardian, 1/27/11]

"The Met also on Friday arrested a 35-year-old man, who Sky News named as former News of the World reporter Dan Evans, on suspicion of phone hacking. He has been released on police bail." [The Guardian, 8/19/11]

Person
Rupert Murdoch, Les Hinton, Rebekah Brooks
Show/Publication
News of the World, Dow Jones
Stories/Interests
Phone Hacking Scandal
Dropfox
NewsCorp News
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