Here’s a wild story: Hugh Grant (yeah, him) broke down on the side of the road and was picked up by Paul McMullan, one of the two News of the World journalists responsible for telling the world about the paper’s phone-hacking practices.The pair got to talking, and McMullan invited his former prey to his pub at a latter date. Grant took him up on the offer… and secretly recorded the conversation.
(Clearly, he learned some tricks from the whole Devine Brown debacle.)
Grant caught the “pap” making some mighty interesting claims detailing just who he believes knew about the phone tapping.
Like, you know, Prime Minister David Cameron.
“Cameron must have known – that’s the bigger scandal,” McMullan said. “He had to jump into bed with [Rupert] Murdoch as everyone had, starting with [Margaret] Thatcher in the Seventies . . . Tony Blair . . . [tape is hard to hear here] Maggie openly courted Murdoch, saying, you know, “Please support me.” So when Cameron, when it came his turn to go to Murdoch via Rebekah Wade … Cameron went horse riding regularly with Rebekah. I know, because as well as doorstepping celebrities, I’ve also doorstepped my ex-boss by hiding in the bushes, waiting for her to come past with Cameron on a horse . . . before the election to show that – you know – Murdoch was backing Cameron.”
McMullan was not so sure that Murdoch knew about the hacking, although he might just be attempting to stay elusive.
“Errr, possibly not. He’s a funny bloke given that he owns the Sun and the Screws… quite puritanical,” he said. “Sorry to talk about Divine Brown, but when that came out… Murdoch was furious: “What are you putting that on our front page for? You’re bringing down the tone of our papers.” [Indicating himself] That’s what we do over here.”
At this point, Grant suggested Murdoch was upset because the actor’s indiscretions were going to hurt the opening of a movie the media baron financed. Then the pair drank a beer.