BBC television personality Jeremy Paxman has testified to a British government panel inquiry that former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan, now a host on CNN, shared with him specific instructions on how to go about hacking into other people’s new and old cell phones.
Paxman told the panel about a lunch in 2002 in which he informed Morgan that he had no comprehension as to the process of cell phone hacking, only for Morgan then to explain in detail precisely how it was done. “He then explained the way to get access to people’s messages was to go to the factory default and press either 0000 or 1234,” Paxman recalled to the Levenson inquiry, as it has been named, “and that if you didn’t put on your own code, his words ‘You’re a fool’.”
Paxman’s testimony also included the revelation that Morgan had made jokes about a conversation that occurred in regards to an affair between a soccer manager and a TV personality. Morgan teased a fellow lunch guest, TV personality and former weather woman Ulrika Jonsson, about her relationship with the manager of England’s soccer team, Sven-Goran Eriksson. “Morgan said, teasing Ulrika, that he knew what had happened in conversations between her and Sven-Goran Eriksson, and he went into this mock Swedish accent,” Paxman claimed. “Now I don’t know whether he was repeating a conversation that he had heard, or he was imagining this conversation.”
Morgan has denied the allegations and slammed Paxman as an “ungrateful little wretch.”