The TCA TV critics’ press tour tends to exist in a bubble separate from the breaking news of the world, but it ended up producing some news in the British phone-hacking scandal by way of a satellite appearance by Paul McCartney, the subject of an Albert Maysles documentary on Showtime about his post-9/11 Concert for New York.
McCartney is also the subject, indirectly, of the latest twist in the phone-hacking scandal, because his ex-wife Heather Mills recently charged that the Mirror tabloid intercepted voicemails from McCartney to her.
A reporter at the session asked McCartney to comment, and after a Showtime executive tried to intercede to knock down the “personal question,” McCartney volunteered a statement: “When I go back after this tour,” he said, “I’m going to talk to the police, because apparently I have been hacked.
I don’t actually know much about it, but they won’t tell anyone except the person themselves. So I will be talking to them about that. I don’t think it’s great. I do think it is a horrendous violation of privacy. And I do think it’s been going on a long time and I do think more people than we know knew about it. But I think I should just listen and hear what the facts are before I comment.
The potential expansion of the scandal has TV implications beyond Showtime. At the time of the alleged hack, Piers Morgan–now a host at TIME’s sister company CNN–was the editor of the Mirror. He wrote a 2006 article describing listening to a voicemail McCartney left for Mills, but has denied involvement in or knowledge of phone-hacking generally, while trying to deflect Mills’ charge by attacking her character, referencing a judge in Mills’ divorce case who described her as less than candid. Nonetheless, members of Parliament are now calling for Morgan to return to Britain to answer questions before a committee.
It’s unclear as yet whether the hacking McCartney alleges involves the Mirror or another outlet; we’ll have to see whether McCartney’s inquiry with police turns the screw yet further in this case. One thing that seems clear: the favorite Beatles song of the British tabloids would appear to be “Do You Want to Know a Secret?”