The Murdochs Sought Family Counseling

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Blaming James, family appointments with a psychologist over who succeeds Rupert, Elisabeth calling for the heads of Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton--it's all in Vanity Fair's preview of its December issue. Granted, the buzz on the issue has mostly been about Scarlet Johansson and her savvy defense of her not-so-modest pictures. But with details of the family's counseling trips to the psychologist and James's rocky relationship with dad, Sarah Ellison's profile could've been the cover story if it were a budding Hollywood ingenue. If you take one thing away from Vanity Fair's December tease,  it should be: Don't mess with Elisabeth Murdoch. 

"Elisabeth blamed her brother for allowing the phone-hacking crisis to spiral out of control," Ellison reports. "She approached her father and urged him to take control of the situation. She said [Rebekah] Brooks and [Les] Hinton needed to resign, and that James needed to take a leave. Rupert was open to the idea—he and James had been at odds for months. Elisabeth had been urging her father to step in." According to Ellison, James "had been shouldering the responsibility for something that happened before he was even in charge, he said. Everyone needed to pull together. Rupert summoned Brooks and told her she should take a leave. He called Hinton and asked him to come to London. Rupert then spoke to James and suggested that he take a leave—‘Maybe you should go, too,’ he said. But after a sleepless night he changed his mind."

From Elisabeth's lips to Rupert's ears. New York's power ranking of Murdoch heirs is holding true to form. 


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.