James Murdoch Says He Didn’t Really Read That $1 Million E-mail

MUNICH, GERMANY - JANUARY 25:  James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch and Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation, Europe and Asia, looks on during the Digital Life Design (DLD) conference at HVB Forum on January 25, 2011 in Munich, Germany. DLD brings together global leaders and creators from the digital world.  (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
Photo: Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

The crux of James Murdoch's claims of ignorance about the widespread phone hacking at his media company is his insistence that he never read the e-mails his employees sent him that described just how bad it was. Today, a parliamentary committee published one of those e-mails chains, in which the News of the World editor at the time, Colin Myler, calls the legal threat stemming from the hacked phone of soccer exec Gordon Taylor "as bad as we feared," while the paper's lawyer mentions a "nightmare scenario." Murdoch says now: "Given the timing of my response, just over two minutes after Mr. Myler had sent his email to me, and the fact that I typically received emails on my BlackBerry on weekends, I am confident that I did not review the full email chain at the time or afterwards, nor do I recall a conversation with Mr. Myler over that weekend." In response, a member of parliament dubbed Murdoch "a remarkably slipshod manager." Murdoch eventually approved a settlement for Gordon Taylor totaling over $1,000,000