Piers Morgan told top BBC anchor Jeremy Paxman how to hack into a cell phone, Paxman claimed in testimony at the Leveson inquiry on Wednesday.
Morgan, who testified before Leveson in December, has long seen his name pop up at the fringes of the ongoing phone hacking scandal. He has vehemently denied ever having hacked a phone or having told anyone to hack a phone, and there has been no hard evidence linking him to the practice. Still, accusations that hacking was rife during his editorship of the Daily Mirror -- or that he acquired private voicemails through hacking -- have persisted.
Paxman's testimony focused on a story that the Mirror printed in 2002, and that many have claimed was obtained through phone hacking. The story involved an affair between Sven-Göran Eriksson, who was then the manager for the England football team, and television host Ulrika Jonsonn.
Paxman -- who has tangled with Morgan about hacking before -- said that, at a lunch in 2002, Morgan first claimed to know the exact details of a conversation between the two (though he said it was quite possible Morgan was "imagining" when he said this), and then described how to hack a phone to him.
From the Guardian:
"He then turned to me and said 'Have you got a mobile phone?', I said 'Yes', and he said 'Have you got a security setting on the message bit of it'," he added. "I don't think it was called voicemail in those days, I didn't know what he was talking about. He then explained that the way to get access to people's message was to go to the factory default setting and press either 0000 or 1234 and that if you didn't put on your own code ... his words: 'you're a fool'."
Morgan responded to Paxman's testimony on Twitter: