Lawfuel.net – News Corp lawyers’ briefing notes have cast a major pall over the company, discrediting claims of lack of knowledge over the phone hacking scandal, according to reports from London.
According to Julian Pike, a lawyer from the London firm Farrer & Co who was at the time acting for the News of the World, since closed by Rupert Murdoch, the briefing notes were made for the then editor Colin Myler ahead of a meeting between Myler and James Murdoch, who was at the time in charge of the UK newspaper division.
According to Pike, Myler and James Murdoch met on May 27 to discuss the issue, although this contradicts what James Murdoch told parliamentarians. He has said he held only one short meeting over the issue in June.
The ‘Red Top’ phone hacking scandal has put the heat on Rupert Murdoch and his heir apparent, son James as well as disrupting succession planning for News Corp’s future administration.
A coming article from “Vanity Fair” magazine reports that Rupert Murdoch’s elder children have been divided by the scandal and in fact have “been in family counseling with a psychologist over the issue of succession” to their 80-year-old Australian-born father.
James Murdoch, who was named as the company’s chief operating officer in February, is Rupert Murdoch’s second-oldest son, and has been seen as the heir apparent to his father but he has come under fire for the scandal that led to the closure of the tabloid weekly The News of the World.
Vanity Fair said James Murdoch’s 43-year-old sister, Elisabeth, “blamed her brother for allowing the phone-hacking crisis to spiral out of control.”
It said she suggested to their father at one point that James needed to go on leave and that Rupert Murdoch was “open to the idea.”
“He and James had been at odds for months,” the magazine said.
The magazine also reported that Elisabeth declined a seat on News Corp.’s board of directors earlier this year to distance herself from the scandal.
Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and another brother, Lachlan Murdoch, 40, all sit on News Corp.’s board of directors although Lachlan does not play an active role in the company.