The hearings over the News Corporation phone hacking scandal were briefly suspended after a man attacked Rupert Murdoch with a plate of shaving cream.
Murdoch’s wife, Wendi Deng, hit the man back before he was pulled away and taken away in handcuffs.
Sky News identified the man as comedian Jonnie Marbles. Marbles tweeted shortly before the incident: “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat.”
A CNN producer in the room reports that Marbles said “you’re a greedy billionaire” before trying to hit Murdoch with the shaving cream.
Here’s the video:
Prior to the incident, the Murdoch’s repeatedly denied that they had “direct knowledge” of the phone hackings as they were taking place at News Of The World. Rupert Murdoch himself denied that he is responsible for the breaches within his company, and instead blamed “the people I trusted to run it and the people they trusted.”
James Murdoch said it was impossible to say whether the top brass at the company should have known what was going on, or been informed, though he phrased in a way that was characteristic of the hearings:
And I’m not saying that somebody should have told me. To my knowledge certain things were not known. And when new information came to light, with respect to my knowledge of these events, when the new information came to light, the company acted on it, and the company acted on it in a right and proper way as best the company could. But it’s difficult to say that the company should have been told something if it’s not known that a thing was a known fact to be told.
The Murdochs did apologize profusely for the scandal, with Rupert Murdoch calling Tuesday “the most humble day of my life.” But he also argued that “News Of The World is less than 1% of our company. I employ more than 53,000 people around the world,” and therefore he cannot necessarily know everything that is going on.