Wendi Murdoch: Blair a Close Friend

Sang Tan / AP Photo

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch arrives at his residence in central London, Thursday, July 14, 2011. Rupert Murdoch and his son James first refused, then agreed Thursday to appear before U.K. lawmakers investigating phone hacking and police bribery, while in the U.S., the FBI opened an investigation into allegations the Murdoch media empire sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims.

It looks as if Rupert Murdoch was even closer to Tony Blair than was previously believed. In an interview with Vogue, Murdoch’s wife, Wendi, said the former British prime minister is godfather to her 9-year-old daughter Grace, and was present at her baptism as well as that of their other daughter, Chloe, 8. Earlier reports said Australian actors Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman were Grace’s godparents. Blair’s spokesman refused to comment, while a News Corp. spokesman confirmed the report. Blair had previously appeared reluctant to condemn News International for the phone-hacking scandal, and had frequently come under fire for his close connections to Murdoch after Murdoch’s Sun tabloid famously crossed party lines to endorse Blair in 1997. Wendi Murdoch said it is “unfair” that her 80-year-old husband has been subject to the phone-hacking investigation and said she worries “about him being alone” in Britain with all the scrutiny.