| 11.2°C Dublin

'I sang at his wedding for free. We had a deal'

The voice of an angel became the voice of vengeance at the Leveson Inquiry as Charlotte Church claimed that the lives of rich and powerful newspaper editors were more a matter of public interest than the lives of TV presenters or singing stars.

The Welsh songstress told the inquiry into press standards and ethics that she was offered an interesting choice of payment when she was asked to sing at Rupert Murdoch's wedding in New York.

Flown in from LA on Murdoch's private jet to sing on his yacht, a 13-year-old Church was offered either a sum of £100,000 or favourable coverage in the Murdoch press, she said.

Despite wanting to take the cash, Church was advised that she would be much better off accepting the offer of good press from such a powerful mogul.

Church was one of the most relaxed and composed witnesses at the inquiry to date, and even giggled as she sat down in the witness box.

The singer held the attention of onlookers in the court as she recalled the "indignity" she has endured at the hands of the British press.

Speaking about a countdown clock that appeared on The Sun website in the run up to her 16th birthday, counting down the days until she would be at the age of sexual consent, Church was particularly disgusted.

"I was really, really severely uncomfortable with any kind of innuendo like that," she said.

The mother-of-two expressed her concern at the media's intrusion into her life at such a young age.

"I had to suffer the indignity of paparazzi trying to take photographs up my skirt and down my top," she said.

Referring to a story sold by an ex-boyfriend when she was 17, Church said she could not understand how editors thought it was okay to print intimate sexual details about someone so young.

Although appearing to be happy and in control, the star admitted that her mindset has been severely affected by the extent of media intrusion.

"It had a massive psychological effect on me," she said.

She also went on to talk about the effect of a story relating to her father's affair, and said that it was totally "unacceptable" that her mother and grandparents had to deal with it with the added stress of everyone knowing about it.

Church's parting shots about rich and powerful editors' lives being more in the public interest than her or her family's was in relation to a recent speech made by Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre.

In his speech, Dacre referred to newspapers exposing "the misdeeds of the rich, the powerful and the pompous", and Church argued that newspaper editors fall under at least two of those labels.

hnews@herald.ie


Privacy