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Sunday 21 September 2014

Murdoch felt 'betrayed' by Brooks and Coulson

James Cusick

Published 23/07/2014 | 02:30

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Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is considering using proceeds from the sale of its Italian and German pay-TV assets to boost its offer for Time Warner
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is considering using proceeds from the sale of its Italian and German pay-TV assets to boost its offer for Time Warner

RUPERT Murdoch did not know Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson had been having an affair for years and allegedly "went nuts" when he was given details before the phone-hacking trial started.

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His alleged reaction to learning that two of his former executives, who had both edited the 'News of World', had been involved in a physically intimate relationship for up to seven years, was initially to order that neither of them would ever work for a Murdoch-owned company again.

Details of his alleged outrage were discussed with individuals who attended a celebration in Australia for the 50th anniversary of 'The Australian' newspaper and by others closely connected to 'News' – the abbreviation used in Australia for any company connected to Mr Murdoch.

Sources in Australia said Mr Murdoch regarded the secret affair between his two former NOTW editors as a form of "betrayal" that damaged his company.

Prior to the disclosure of the Brooks-Coulson affair, he is said to have been prepared to sacrifice the future of his bestselling Sunday tabloid to protect the reputation of Mrs Brooks. When the hacking scandal broke in 2011, Mr Murdoch was asked about his immediate priorities. He gestured towards Mrs Brooks and simply said: "This one." (© Independent News Service)

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