CNN host Piers Morgan has been dragged into the London phone hacking trial which is focused on allegations of illegality at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid.
Morgan, who now fronts a nightly show in the U.S., learnt his trade as a showbiz reporter at Murdoch’s daily tabloid the Sun. A court in London heard on Wednesday from a witness for the prosecution that he had discussed phone hacking, long before the scandal became public, with Rebekah Brooks at a private dinner attended by some of the “most powerful people in the media industry.”
The British talkshow host, who has persistently criticized American gun laws since joining CNN, allegedly joked about illegally accessing voicemails and email correspondence during the birthday celebration of Andy Coulson, a former editor of the News of the World and close advisor to David Cameron, the British Prime Minister. Morgan is not alleged by prosecutors to have committed any crime.
The claims emerged in court today during the testimony of Ambi Sitham, now a life coach and writer based in Los Angeles, who was a solicitor at top British media law firm Schillings at the time. In January 2003, she was also in a relationship with Neil Reading, a close friend of Coulson’s.