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Heather Mills Alleges Mirror Group Hacked Her Phone During Piers Morgan's Daily Mirror Editorship

The Huffington Post   Katherine Fung First Posted: 08/03/11 02:22 PM ET Updated: 10/03/11 06:12 AM ET

Heather Mills Piers Morgan

Heather Mills, Paul McCartney's ex-wife has alleged that a senior journalist from the newspaper group that owns The Daily Mirror—along with many other papers in Britain—admitted to hacking her voicemail in 2001—while CNN host Piers Morgan was running the paper.

Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Mills recounted that a Mirror Group journalist had called her asking about an argument between her and her then-boyfriend Sir Paul McCartney, "quoting verbatim the messages from my machine." Mills said the journalist admitted to hacking the voice mails after she questioned where the journalist had gotten their information and threatened to go to the police if the material was published.

Mills said the journalist told her, "OK, OK, yeah we did hear it on your voice messages, I won't run it."

She was clear that the journalist in question was not Piers Morgan—the editor of the Mirror at the time—but the message in question may be one that Morgan had admitted to hearing. In 2006, Morgan wrote in the Daily Mail that he "was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone."

"It was heartbreaking," Morgan wrote. "The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back. He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang 'We Can Work It Out' into the answer phone."

Mills told the BBC that "there was absolutely no honest way that Piers Morgan could have obtained that tape that he has so proudly bragged about unless they had gone into my voice messages."

The new allegations from Mills draw both Morgan and the Daily Mirror deeper into the phone hacking scandal that started at the News of the World and widened to other British newsrooms and the United States. Even as allegations have mounted against the paper, Morgan and the Daily Mirror have denied all claims that they knew or participated in phone hacking.

UPDATE: Piers Morgan issued this statement in response to Heather Mill's allegations:

Heather Mills has made unsubstantiated claims about a conversation she may or may not have had with a senior executive from a Trinity Mirror newspaper in 2001. The BBC has confirmed to me that this executive was not employed by the Daily Mirror.

I have no knowledge of any conversation any executive from other newspapers at Trinity Mirror may or may not have had with Heather Mills. What I can say and have knowledge of is that Sir Paul McCartney asserted that Heather Mills illegally intercepted his telephones, and leaked confidential material to the media. This is well documented, and was stated in their divorce case. Further, in his judgment, The Honourable Mr Justice Bennett wrote of Heather Mills: 'I am driven to the conclusion that much of her evidence, both written and oral, was not just inconsistent and inaccurate but also less than candid. Overall she was a less than impressive witness.'

No doubt everyone will take this and other instances of somewhat extravagant claims by Ms Mills into account in assessing what credibility and platform her assertions are given.

And to reiterate, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone.

Note: This article originally said that a journalist from the Daily Mirror allegedly admitted to phone hacking. In fact, it was a journalist from the broader Mirror Group.

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