gallery What Were They Thinking?
Since Rupert Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal picked up steam in April, the high-profile arrests and resignations have been piling up. From Andy Coulson—former editor of News of the World and aide to Prime Minister David Cameron—to Murdoch protégée Rebekah Brooks to London’s chief of police, The Daily Beast rounds up the key players brought down in the fray.
What Were They Thinking?
Since Rupert Murdoch’s phone-hacking scandal picked up steam in April, the high-profile arrests and resignations have piled up. From Andy Coulson—former editor of News of the World and aide to Prime Minister David Cameron—to Murdoch protégée Rebekah Brooks to London’s chief of police, The Daily Beast rounds up the key players brought down in the fray.
Oli Scarff / Getty Images ARRESTED: James Desborough
Hollywood Reporter, News of the World
Police in Britain have arrested News of the World’s former Hollywood reporter James Desborough—their 13th arrest since phone-hacking investigations began. Desborough, who was promoted to be the paper’s U.S. editor in 2009, was charged with conspiring to intercept communications. Desborough’s move to the U.S. raises the question whether he brought the illegal methods he is accused of practicing in Britain across the Atlantic with him. He wrote for News of the World until it closed last month. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images ARRESTED: Andy Coulson
Editor, News of the World
When Andy Coulson was taken in for questioning in connection with phone hacking and corruption July 8, the scandal took on a new level of urgency. By far the highest profile arrest at the time, Coulson ran News of the World between 2003 and 2007, when the hacking appears to have been in full swing. As Prime Minister David Cameron’s former communications director, his arrest also called the British government’s integrity into question. Leon Neal, AFP / Getty Images ARRESTED: Rebekah Brooks
Chief Executive, News International
Rebekah Brooks is the highest-ranking News Corp. employee to be arrested so far. Brooks worked her way up News Corp.’s chain to become chief executive of News international and a member of Rupert Murdoch’s inner circle. But her time as editor of News of the World, from 2000 to 2003, puts her in an incriminating position. On Sunday, two days after she resigned from her post, she was arrested in connection with phone hacking and released on bail the same day.
ARRESTED: Neil Wallis
Executive Editor, News of the World
If Andy Coulson’s arrest pulled back the curtain on Downing Street’s cozy relationship with News International, Neil Wallis’ arrest highlighted Scotland Yard’s. After Wallis left his post as News of the World’s executive editor in 2009, he was hired by police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson as a personal adviser. Wallis was a veteran tabloid editor, working at The People, the Sun, and, between 2003 and 2009, News of the World. His hair, height, and notorious temper earned him the nickname “ the wolfman.”
ARRESTED: Ian Edmondson
Assistant News Editor, News of the World
One of Andy Coulson’s closest lieutenants, Ian Edmondson was arrested back on April 5—kicking off the latest, sweeping investigation into phone hacking within the Murdoch empire. Edmondson was sacked in January when a High Court document named him in connection with a plot to eavesdrop on Sienna Miller. Edmondson’s coworkers described him as “an attack dog in a nice suit” and “universally loathed.”
ARRESTED: Neville Thurlbeck
Chief Reporter, News of the World
Arrested with Edmondson in April, Neville Thurlbeck was News of the World’s top reporter. Thurlbeck had been investigated before—for the secret videotaping of former Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile president Max Mosley, as well as for the outing of cabinet minister Nick Brown. But the piece of evidence that brought him down was an email from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, containing transcripts of hacked voicemails and titled “This is the transcript for Neville.” Thurlbeck was brought in on suspicion of unlawfully intercepting voicemail messages and then bailed out.
National News / Zuma Press ARRESTED: Greg Miskiw
Former News Desk executive, News of the World
The executive was arrested August 10 as the scandal continued to unravel. Miskiw was released on bail soon after. He worked at the tabloid until 2005, but moved to Florida and has been living in the States for several years. He was the 12th person arrested by “Operation Weeting” officers. Oli Scarff / Getty Images ARRESTED: Stuart Kuttner
Former Managing Editor, News of the World
Kuttner’s arrest was a big blow to Murdoch and News of the World. He served as managing editor for 22 years, and was considered by some as the face of News of the World. He resigned in 2009, but before then, he was in charge of the tabloid’s finances. When he left, the editor of the paper, Colin Myler, said his "DNA is absolutely integrated into the newspaper which he has represented across the media with vigour." He was released on bail soon after his arrest in early August. ARRESTED: James Weatherup
Reporter, News of the World
James Weatherup, brought in for questioning on April 15, has a long professional history with News of the World. After working at the paper for more than a decade, including a turn as its chief reporter, Weatherup left in 1999 for Britain’s Sunday People and then the Daily Mirror. Coulson brought him back in 2004 to be the tabloid’s news editor, and Weatherup became part of Coulson’s inner circle. Two years later he went back to being a reporter and was replaced as editor by Ian Edmondson, one of the first News of the World employees to be arrested. Employees described Weatherup and Edmondson as “thick as thieves.” Weatherup fed the tabloid’s scoop-obsessed culture, scoring a front-page byline in September with secretly filmed footage of former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton snorting cocaine. He shared the exclusive with Neville Thurlbeck, the paper’s chief reporter, who was also arrested.
John Stillwell / AP Photo ARRESTED: Clive Goodman
Royals Editor, News of the World
Along with Coulson, British police picked up former royals editor Clive Goodman on July 8. It wasn’t Goodman’s first time speaking with Scotland Yard. As the “rogue reporter” on whom News of the World initially tried to pin the hacking scandal, Goodman was jailed for four months in 2007 for intercepting the voicemails of the royal family. This time, Goodman was arrested on suspicion of paying at least 100,000 pounds to police officers in exchange for information.
ARRESTED: Terenia Taras
Reporter, News of the World
In the early morning of June 27, police took Terenia Taras from her West Yorkshire home for questioning in connection with phone hacking. The 39-year-old journalist wrote more than 30 stories for News of the World, but she hadn’t worked for the paper since 2004. She’s believed to be the ex-girlfriend of Greg Miskiw, a former news editor at the tabloid. She was bailed out until October.
Dominic Lipinski, Press Association / AP Photo ARRESTED: Unnamed Private Investigator
There was a third man arrested on July 8 along with Coulson and Goodman. Press identified him only as a 63-year-old