Piers Morgan Could Be Next to Testify in Phone-Hacking Scandal

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Photo: Entertainment Press/Splash News

The ongoing British phone-hacking scandal is slowly but surely moving beyond just Rupert Murdoch's now-shuttered News of the World. Today, lawyer Mark Lewis announced that a new set of lawsuits will be filed in "a few weeks" against the Trinity Mirror Group, which owns U.K. tabloids like the Daily Mirror and People, as former Mirror editor Piers Morgan faces increasingly stern calls to answer for phone-hacking allegations voiced most recently by Paul McCartney's ex-wife Heather Mills. (Lewis also represents the family of slain child Milly Dowler, whose hacked phone helped set off this summer's News Corp. nightmare.) Multiple British lawmakers have since called separately for Morgan to return to England to testify in front of a House of Commons committee, as the Murdochs were made to do last month.

A spokesperson for Morgan told the New York Times, "Piers is not going to answer any more questions at this time, as he feels he has said what he has needed to." Morgan, in a statement responding to Mills's allegations on Wednesday, reiterated his firm position: "I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone."

Still, Labor Party deputy Harriet Harman maintained Morgan should face questions because "the public rightly expects that we will get to the bottom of phone hacking. That's why it is so important that the police investigation looks at all the evidence and leaves no stone unturned."

But Morgan isn't alone in feeling the heat. Elsewhere in the British press, a recently unearthed article from 2006 has Guardian investigations editor David Leigh admitting to a form of phone hacking, while the Daily Mail's publisher has called for an internal review.

Morgan, meanwhile, seems confident in, if slightly smug about, his own innocence, joking on Twitter, "So heart-warming that everyone in UK's missing me so much they want me to come home."

Calls for CNN Host to Testify in Hacking Scandal [NYT]
Daily Mail Publisher Launches Review After Scandal [ABC]
Lawyer: 2nd newspaper group faces hacking lawsuits [AP]