While Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are still in the throes of new love, a UK-based blog devoted to exposing rogue journalists has revealed that Hall may have been one of the victims of phone hacking at a Murdoch newspaper. According to Nick Davies’ book Hack Attack, a young reporter at The Sun in the late 1990s (called “Sand”, for legal reasons) introduced the trick of hacking voicemail to get celebrity stories, including the worldwide exclusive that Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger would be getting a divorce:

A former colleague, whom I will call Diamond, says Sand’s phone-hacking was well known to be the source for the Sun’s long-running coverage in 1999 of Mick Jagger’s divorce from Jerry Hall, and identifies Jagger’s PR man, Bernard Doherty, as a particular target … Diamond also claims that [Andy] Coulson said of Sand: ‘He’s a one-trick pony. But what a trick!’”

UK blog Press Gang, run by Paddy French, elaborates further:

In November 1998, for example, the Sun discovered a lawyer acting for Jerry Hall was secretly meeting Jagger’s mistress in New York.

The lawyer was hoping the woman would provide ammunition in the event of divorce proceedings.

A Sun reporter was waiting for the couple when they left a restaurant.

The reaction of Jagger’s girlfriend was: ‘Oh my God, how did you find me?’

The lawyer asked the reporter: ‘How DID you know we were here?’”

New relationships often have awkward moments, but “hey, darl, did your employees illegally hack my phone?” is not a standard get-to-know-you question.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey