References to Rupert Murdoch you may or may not read in The Sun
Charlotte Church, 28.11.11, witness statement: ‘When I was 13 I was asked to perform at Rupert Murdoch’s wedding in New York. When it came to the payment for my work, my management at the time informed me that either there would be a £100,000 fee (which was the biggest fee I’d ever been offered) or if the fee for my performance was waived, I would be looked upon favourably by Mr. Murdoch’s papers. Despite my teenage business head screaming "think how many tamogotchies you could buy!!", I was pressured into taking the latter option. This strategy failed.., for me. In fact Mr Murdoch’s newspapers have since been some of the
worst offenders, so much so 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 have certainly helped damage it.'
Anne Diamond, broadcast journalist, 28.11.11, witness statement, referring to an interview carried out with Rupert Murdoch’s butler, Mr Townsend, for a TV documentary: ‘During Mr Townsend’s interview he recalls Mr Murdoch saying in the early 80’s to his editors, ‘Do you know this woman Diamond? She was very rude to me the other night, about me destroying people’s lives".
The way it is described in the documentary is that Murdoch’s call to his editors left them in no doubt that they were to “go after" me.
The occasion I was supposedly "rude" to Mr Murdoch was at an event commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Times. I do not recall whether it was at this particular event or in a more formal interview in the TV studio that I asked him how he could justify his newspapers pursuing people to the extent that it ruined their lives.
Mr Townsend describes my question to Murdoch as "do you enjoy ruining people’s lives?" I do recall asking something similar to Murdoch, something like, “how do you sleep at night knowing your papers ruin people’s lives?" I wanted to ask this question because I was horrified by the behaviour of some of his newspapers such as the Sun and the News of the Wodd - I believed that Murdoch papers were intent on ruining people’s lives.
I particularly recall being appalled how Princess Diana was being hounded and consistently misrepresented and Elton John was being targeted at the time, as if they would not be satisfied until he killed himself. I am sure I would not have been rude to Mr Murdoch but perhaps, being young and naive, I was precocious.
I do remember him answering that if people sought publicity then they could not protest that they had a right to privacy. He also said something akin to “my newspapers do not ruin people’s lives, people ruin their own lives."
I was shocked when I heard that Mr Murdoch had, after our exchange, spoken to his editors about me. The implication was very plain - that he had implied they should attack me in their papers. This did, in hindsight however, make some sense of why I received such hostile and intrusive coverage in the Murdoch tabloids afterwards. I was subjected to prurient interest from his newspapers. They went into my past and dug up facts about me which were extremely painful when distorted, misrepresented or taken out of context. The extent to which Mr Murdoch’s view of me was taken as a green light to attack me and my family can be demonstrated to some extent in the publications below (although they are only limited examples and do not demonstrate the day in, day out, coverage).