Piers Morgan Interviewed by Police Investigating U.K. Phone Hacking

Piers Morgan Brady Center - P 2013
Alex J . Berliner/ABImages

Piers Morgan Brady Center - P 2013

The CNN host and former Daily Mirror editor was questioned last year, he admitted Friday.

LONDON -- CNN host and former British tabloid editor Piers Morgan was interviewed by police investigating phone-hacking in the U.K., he said.

Morgan, a former Daily Mirror editor, said he spoke to the police voluntary on Dec. 6 of last year after being approached by detectives as part of Operation Weeting, the investigation into illegal phone intercepts.

In a statement to media outlets including The Guardian newspaper and the BBC, a spokesperson for Morgan said that in November of last year the CNN host was asked to attend an interview by the police on his next visit to British shores.

"This [request] was further to a full witness statement I had already freely provided. I attended that interview as requested on 6 December 2013," the statement reads.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a 48-year-old journalist was interviewed on that date at a south London police station by officers from Operation Golding.

Morgan was interviewed under caution and was not put under arrest.

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Morgan was interviewed by the strand of Operation Weeting investigating allegations of phone hacking at the Mirror parent company, Mirror Group Newspapers.

The tabloid giant, Rupert Murdoch's biggest and most ferocious rival in the U.K. newspaper business, said in a statement last September that the police were investigating whether it is "criminally liable" for an alleged phone-hacking conspiracy by previous employees.

Morgan was editor of the Mirror from 1995 until he exited in 2004 amid the publication of hoax pictures that were claimed to show Iraqi prisoners being abused by British soldiers.

In 2006, Morgan wrote an article in the Daily Mail in which he claimed to have been played the tape of a message that Paul McCartney had left for his wife, Heather Mills, on her mobile phone.

While giving evidence to the Leveson inquiry, Morgan said that he had heard the tape but refused to say who had played it to him. He told the inquiry that he did not believe that phone hacking had occurred at the Mirror.

The Leveson report said that Morgan's evidence did not establish that he authorized the hacking of voicemails nor that journalists working for the Mirror did so.

But the report said: "What it does, however, clearly prove is that he was aware that it was taking place in the press as a whole and that he was sufficiently unembarrassed by what was criminal behavior, that he was prepared to joke about it."

Morgan, 48, was editor of the News of the World for more than a year prior to becoming the Daily Mirror editor. After his sacking, he moved into television, hosting an interview series for ITV and acting as judge on talent shows.

He joined CNN in 2011 as the host of Piers Morgan Live.