"Humble" foam pie protester admits Murdoch assault

Fri Jul 29, 2011 5:01pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - A British protester who threw a plate of foam at Rupert Murdoch during a parliamentary hearing into the phone-hacking scandal pleaded guilty in court to assault Friday and quipped: "this has been the most humble day of my life."

Jonathan May-Bowles, a comedian who uses the name Jonnie Marbles, was borrowing the phrase famously used by Murdoch when he appeared before a panel of lawmakers earlier this month.

Speaking to a crowd of reporters and photographers outside court in London, May-Bowles raised a laugh when he said: "I would just like to say this has been the most humble day of my life."

The 26-year-old, from Windsor, west of London, hurled the "foam pie" at Murdoch's face toward the end of a meeting of the British parliament's influential Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

The 80-year-old's third wife, Wendi Deng, who was sitting behind the media mogul, immediately jumped up and appeared to hit the attacker. The parliamentary hearing was adjourned for 15 minutes and the room was cleared. Murdoch returned to finish giving his evidence, without his foam-spattered jacket.

May-Bowles, wearing an open-necked casual checked shirt, pleaded guilty to assault and causing harassment, alarm or distress. He will be sentenced on August 2.

(Reporting Peter Griffiths; Editing by Steve Addison)