Piers Morgan is ‘symptomatic of the problem’ with UK tabloids – The Hollywood Reporter

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Steve coogan strongly criticized Piers Morgan Wednesday night accusing the TV host and former Daily Mirror The newspaper’s editor as “symptomatic of the problem” with the British tabloid press, citing its “bullying behavior” as a prime example.

Actor and press reform activist speaking to political editor Robert Peston on the ITV evening show Peston, made the complaints just a day later Morgan radically resigned as co-host on ITV Hello Great Britain in the middle of growing condemnation of comments he made about Meghan Markle following the explosive royal interview with Oprah Winfrey. Morgan came under heavy criticism for his tirades against Markle on Monday’s episode of the Breakfast News Show, particularly for saying he didn’t believe the story of the Duchess that she felt suicidal and asked for help at Buckingham Palace, before being turned down.

“Who did you go to?” What did they tell you? I’m sorry, I don’t believe a word of what she said, Meghan Markle, “he said.” I wouldn’t believe it if she read me a weather report.

Coogan cited the investigation into Morgan’s comments by UK regulator Ofcom, which was triggered after it received more than 41,000 complaints.

“Ofcom is investigating Piers Morgan for not believing Meghan’s mental health claims,” ​​he said. “But they should investigate whether it was fair that the man cited by dozens of plaintiffs in the Mirror hack litigation was allowed to use a platform to attack one of his accusers.”

The actor was referring to the infamous phone hacking scandal that erupted in the late 2000s, in which it was revealed that UK tabloid newspapers had illegally intercepted voicemail messages from hundreds of celebrities, politicians and even victims. murder to find information. for stories. In 2019, Prince Harry took legal action against The sun and The Daily Mirror “regarding the illegal interception of voicemail messages” dating from the early 2000s, when Morgan edited the newspaper.

In 2017, Coogan won a six-figure settlement of The Daily Mirrorafter it was discovered that his phone was also among those that had been hacked, again under Morgan’s guidance.

At the time, he claimed that Morgan and his fellow editors and directors of The Mirror Group had not “come under scrutiny” following the revelations of the Leveson Inquiry, the public inquiry into the ethical practices of the British media – particularly on allegations of phone hacking – that ultimately led to the closure of Rupert Murdoch World news. Morgan has consistently claimed he was unaware of any hacking incidents at The Daily Mirror.

Speaking to Peston, who has repeatedly tried to block Coogan from discussing the hacking scandal and Morgan’s alleged involvement, Coogan questioned the exit Hello Great Britain host complaints.

“Piers Morgan, several years ago before the Leveson Inquiry, swore under oath that he had no knowledge of the Mirror Group newspaper hacking. And the Mirror Group newspapers paid tens of millions [of pounds] in damages to litigants.

Coogan has repeatedly called for a second part of the investigation, aimed at finding out who was involved in the hack and those who knew it was taking place.

Speaking of Prince Harry and Markle, Coogan claimed the two became the subject of the tabloid scrutiny they described in the Oprah interview because they dared to criticize the British press and that “things got really nasty” after he sued. The sun, The mirror and The daily mail.

“The fact that Meghan Markle and Harry were attacked has nothing to do with the hypocrisy of the jet set,” he said. “It’s because they broke the golden rule, which is to leave us alone and we’ll be indulgent with you next time.”

Coogan added: “The tabloid press is controlled by a handful of tax-shy billionaires with a program. Anyone who stands up against the press is attacked by them because they are bullies. “

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