Church: Phone ‘Hacked’ During Early Pregnancy

November 28th, 20114:44 pm @

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Church: Phone ‘Hacked’ During Early Pregnancy

Singer Charlotte Church has said she believes her phone was hacked in the early stages of her first pregnancy – as The Sun printed the story before she told her parents.

Speaking at the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics, Ms Church said only her then partner Gavin Henson and her doctor had known about the pregnancy.

She said the only way journalists could have found out about it was through “hacked voicemail messages from the doctor or other surveillance”, although she did not have any evidence.

“I had not told anyone apart from when I had gone to have my initial scan,” she said. “I can’t see how it came from any other area. My family were really upset that I had not told them first.”

The inquiry heard the newspaper said it had merely reported rumours she was pregnant because of changes in her behaviour.

Ms Church also said she waived a £100,000 fee to sing at the wedding of News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch when she was 13, in exchange for a promise of favourable publicity.

Read updates from the Sky News team at the inquiry.

 

The singer, dubbed The Voice of an Angel, told the inquiry she was asked to sing at Mr Murdoch’s wedding to Wendi Deng in 1999.

In a statement she said she was offered a fee of £100,000, but was told if she waived it she “would be looked upon favourably by Mr Murdoch’s papers”.

The inquiry heard News International denied the offer was made but Ms Church said: “I remember being told that Rupert Murdoch had asked me to sing at his wedding to Wendi Deng and it would take place on his yacht in New York.”

Ms Church said: “I remember being told that the offer of money or the offer of the favour, in order to basically get good press, to be looked upon favourably.

“And I also remember being 13 and thinking, ‘why on earth would anybody take a favour over £100,000?'”

She said she and her mother were both quite “resolute” about accepting the money, but were urged by her management and figures from the record company into taking the option of the favour from a “powerful man” like Mr Murdoch.

 

They had decided I was guilty of her murder and seemed determined to persuade the public of my guilt.


Read a full report on Chris Jefferies’ evidence

 

In her witness statement, she said that accepting the waiver “failed”, adding: “In fact Mr Murdoch’s newspapers have since been some of the worst offenders, so much that I have sometimes felt that there has actually been a deliberate agenda.

“While newspapers such as Mr Murdoch’s have not helped my career, they certainly damaged it.”

She also describe how the News Of The World (NOTW) published a story about her father having an affair – despite knowing that her mother had just been admitted to hospital after a suicide attempt.

Ms Church said the story “had a massive impact on my family life and on my mother’s health… The only way the NOTW could have known about her hospital treatment was through hacking or bribing of hospital staff etc”.

She said she had been contacted earlier this year by police who showed her details found in private investigator Glenn Mulcaire’s notebooks, including passwords, pin numbers and phone numbers, relating to her and other people in her life.

Anne Diamond

Anne Diamond gives evidence at the Leveson Inquiry

 

Broadcaster Anne Diamond then gave evidence to the inquiry.

Ms Diamond recounted her belief that parts of the press waged a vendetta against her for nearly two decades after she asked Mr Murdoch at a party what he thought about “the fact that his newspapers ruined people’s lives”.

The inquiry heard only three weeks after the exchange with Mr Murdoch, there began some intrusive reporting into her private life, including coverage of her romantic relationship with a man who was to become her husband for 10 years.

Ms Diamond said during labour with her first child, she was told by a member of hospital staff that they had caught a Sun reporter in the building posing as a doctor and they had ejected him.

The broadcaster went to Australia to give birth to her second child. She said even there she was tailed and snapped by a newspaper photographer.

She later spoke at the inquiry about the cot death of her four-month-old son Sebastian in 1991.

She said within an hour of contacting police, she was “besieged” by the press as her front door was quickly surrounded by “hundreds” of newspaper photographers and reporters constantly ringing the doorbell.

She said a female reporter with a big bouquet of flowers tried to force her way in though the front door and two men had to push her back out. “That was the extent to which they were forcing themselves upon us”, she said.

Ms Diamond also claimed another reporter tried to climb over the fence to try and get in the back garden.

She said she had begged all the newspapers to stay away from her son’s funeral but a lone snapper with a long lens turned up.

The following day, The Sun ran a front page picture of Ms Diamond and her husband holding their child’s coffin.

She alleged the paper then “emotionally blackmailed” her into supporting their cot death campaign and they “trampled all over our dignity”.

Article source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbiz-News/Singer-Charlotte-Church-Gives-Evidence-At-Leveson-Inquiry-Into-Media-Ethics/Article/201111416119375?f=rss