Another allegation of less-than-sterling journalistic practices at the News Corp. papers - this time involving singer Charlotte Church. Testifying at a hearing into British press ethics, Church said she was offered $154,000 to sing at Murdoch's wedding to Wendi Deng in 1999, but was told that waiving the fee ''would be looked upon favorably by Mr Murdoch's papers." From the Telegraph:
"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. ''He flew us in on his private jet from LA to New York which was amazing,'' she said. ''We went on to his boat which had a grand piano and which I was amazed by and I sang at the ceremony.''
She wound up waiving the fee, but Church suspects that her voice mails were later hacked by someone on the News Corp. payroll, and that unflattering information about a pregnancy - information she had only shared with a few people - wound up in the papers.