Cute British classical-singer-turned-pop-star Charlotte Church told a sad story to Parliament about how she tried to bribe Rupert Murdoch for favorable coverage in his papers with a free concert at his wedding but got the tabloid treatment anyway. In a written statement, she had this to say:
When I was 13 I was asked to perform at Rupert Murdoch's wedding in New York. When it came to the payment for my work, my management at the time informed me that either there would be a £100,000 fee (which was the biggest fee I'd ever been offered) or if the fee for my performance was waived, I would be looked upon favourabiy by Mr. Murdoch's papers. Despite my teenage business head screaming "think how many tamogotchies you could buy!!", I was pressured into taking the latter option. This strategy failed... for me. In fact Mr Murdoch's newspapers have since been some of the worst offenders, so much so that I have sometimes felt that there has actually been a deliberate agenda. While newspapers such as Mr Murdoch’s have not helped my career, they have certainly helped damage it.
Indeed The Sun, owned by News Corp., has printed some lovely stories about Church over the years like "Rebel Charlotte Church shows her angelic days are behind her as she shops for outrageous underwear in Hollywood." And touching depictions like, "The teenager has dumped her frumpy frocks and sensible hairdo in favour of tight-fitting jeans and crop tops, and she wears a pair of earrings in the shape of cannabis leaves." Failing to live up to the alleged deal doesn't make Murdoch sound very honorable, but not reciprocating a bribe is the nearest thing to journalism ethics the News Intl. papers have been accused of in a while.
Church also told a sad tale today in which she slowly eliminated acquaintances from her close circle to stem the leaks that were getting through to the press, and now that she suspects her phone was hacked, she feels bad for shutting out old friends. News Corp. released a statement saying they "are not aware of any evidence to support this claim" that The Sun got information on her by hacking her phone," reports the Guardian.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.