A 2008 E-Mail at the Heart of a Hacking Scandal – NYTimes.com
People in New York say that Mr. Murdoch is confident he will survive the storm back in London. But questions still abound about what he knew, and when.
When he got the 2008 e-mail, News International was facing a major potential disaster: a lawsuit brought by Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, who said that his phone had been hacked and that he had proof.
That is what the e-mail told Mr. Murdoch. Farther down in a short message chain, there was mention of a “nightmare scenario” of legal repercussions, and an acknowledgment that The News of the World “knew of and made use of the voice mail information” it illegally acquired from Mr. Taylor’s cellphone.
Mr. Myler’s e-mail was sent on a Saturday afternoon. Mr. Murdoch replied minutes later, agreeing to a meeting that Tuesday and telling Mr. Myler he would be home “if you want to talk before.”
Soon afterward, Mr. Murdoch approved a settlement of more than $1.4 million to Mr. Taylor, an unprecedented amount for such a case.
In December, he said he had not read the whole e-mail. “I am confident that I did not review the full e-mail chain at this time or afterwards,” he said in a letter to the Commons culture committee. “I would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm my past testimony that I was not aware of evidence that either pointed to widespread wrongdoing or indicated that further investigation was necessary.”
Contradicting Mr. Murdoch’s testimony, Mr. Myler and Mr. Crone told Parliament they had informed him about the damaging aspects of the Taylor lawsuit. Mr. Murdoch has consistently denied this, declaring that he approved the settlement because of his lawyers’ advice, not because he knew the underlying details.