Beatle's ex-wife says Piers Morgan heard hacked call

Thu Feb 9, 2012 12:31pm EST
 
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Paul McCartney's ex-wife said Thursday she had not leaked a voicemail of the former Beatle begging her for forgiveness to CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan, saying the recording he has boasted of hearing had been illegally hacked.

Morgan has consistently denied he authorized the use of phone-hacking in his days as a tabloid newspaper editor in Britain. He has not offered an explanation for how he came to hear the message left on Heather Mills' mobile phone.

The accusation has dragged Morgan into a phone-hacking scandal which has damaged Rupert Murdoch's media empire and has had wide ramifications for the entire British press.

Giving evidence to an inquiry into British media ethics, Mills said she had left a house she shared with McCartney in early 2001 after they had had a row and turned her phone off.

The next morning she said she had received about 25 messages on her phone, all of which appeared to have been listened to, including one in which McCartney "sang a little ditty of one of his songs." She said she deleted the messages.

Later that day, a reporter called her to say he had heard the couple had argued and that McCartney had left a message in which he sang to her. This, she told the inquiry, could only have come from her phone being hacked.

The inquiry was told the unnamed reporter was a former employee from the Trinity Mirror Group though not from the Daily Mirror, one of the group's papers, which Morgan edited from 1995 to 2004.

Asked if she had ever made a recording of McCartney's call or had played it to Morgan herself, Mills said: "Never."   Continued...

 
<p>Heather Mills speaking at the Leveson Inquiry at the High Court in central London, February 9, 2012. REUTERS/POOL via Reuters TV</p>