Murdochs Reportedly Sought Family Counseling Over News Corp. Issues

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James Murdoch. Photo: David Moir/Reuters

Rupert Murdoch's kids went to a psychologist to discuss who should take over for daddy when the day comes, Vanity Fair's Sarah Ellison reports in the magazine's forthcoming issue. All the children just wanted things to work out as planned for James, who has seemed the heir since 2005, she writes: "They told James that if they worked together as siblings they could help him and their father have a better relationship, and that together the kids could hold Rupert to account to be a mentor to James and not undermine him." But that pesky phone-hacking scandal is ruining everything! And evidence continues to mount that James and other higher-ups knew just how bad it was.

Documents released to the British parliament yesterday indicate that lawyers for News Corp. recommended paying out a phone-hacking victim in 2008, describing evidence as "fatal" and the company's situation as "perilous." The group's chief outside council at the time told them: "There is a powerful case that there is (or was) a culture of illegal information access used at NGN (News Group Newspapers) in order to produce stories for publication."

According to a former lawyer the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid, notes that detailed the evidence against News Corp. were prepared for then-editor Colin Myler ahead of a meeting with James Murdoch, who was running the British papers. James's version of events has been different, but he'll have a chance to clarify things when he faces parliament again next week.

In the meantime, let us not forget the possibility that while everyone was repeatedly trying to tell him about the bad things happening under his watch, James just squeezed his eyes shut, put his fingers in his ears, and did the "la-la-la, I can't hear you!" thing. Someone should ask the shrink about that one.

Murdoch Clan Met with Family Therapist to Discuss News Corp.’s Future [VF]
Law firm documents add to heat on James Murdoch [Reuters]