Piers Morgan Fires Back At Heather Mills

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The CNN host calls Mills' phone-hacking accusations "unsubstantiated" and says Paul McCartney's ex-wife has a history of "somewhat extravagant claims."

Piers Morgan responded to phone hacking accusations leveled by Heather Mills at Mirror Group Newspapers by impugning Mills’ credibility.

According to Mills, the hacking in question took place in 2001 when Morgan was editing Mirror Group paper The Daily Mirror. In a BBC interview, Mills said she was contacted by a journalist from one of the company’s newspapers saying they were in possession of a voice mail message from Mills' now ex-husband Paul McCartney. She did not specify which newspaper. But she did say that the journalist in question was not Morgan.

Mirror Group Newspapers is part of Trinity Mirror, which publishes over 260 papers including The Daily and Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and People.

In a 2006 column in The Daily Mirror, Morgan wrote about hearing the tape of a voicemail from McCartney. "At one stage I was played a tape of a message Paul had left for Heather on her mobile phone," he wrote. "It was heartbreaking. The couple had clearly had a tiff. He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang 'We Can Work It Out' into the answer phone."

In his statement, Morgan does not say how he came to hear that specific tape. But he blames Mills for "illegally intercepting" McCartney's phone and leaking to the media. Morgan called Mills' claims “unsubstantiated” and said he had no knowledge of “any conversation any executive from other newspapers at Trinity Mirror may or may not have had with Heather Mills.”

He added that Mills has a history of making “somewhat extravagant claims” and reiterated that he has no knowledge of any hacking at The Daily Mirror.

Morgan’s full statement:

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.