Tony Blair Offered “Unofficial” Advice to Disgraced News Corp EditorS

Less than a week before News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks was arrested for her involvement in the phone-hacking scandal that rocked Britain, she received an offer of help from an unlikely source: The country’s former Prime Minister. The Guardian reports:

According to the email, sent the day after the News of the World’s final issue and six days before Brooks was arrested, Blair [said] he was “available” to her and Rupert and James Murdoch as an “unofficial adviser” on a “between us” basis. ... The advice was given in an hour-long phone conversation. Blair advised her to “tough up” and not to make any “rash short-term solutions as they only give you long-term headaches.” He also told her to “keep strong” and advised her to take “sleeping pills.”

The email, which Brooks sent to Murdoch’s son, James, was read to a jury assigned to the ongoing trial against Brooks and several other News Corp officials, who stand accused of paying investigators to hack the phones of people in the news, including celebrities, politicians, and kidnapped minors like Milly Dowler. (In the same email thread, James Murdoch appears to warn Brooks of the email’s discoverability: “What are you doing on email?”)

It’s also the second recent appearance of Blair in Rupert Murdoch’s universe. Earlier this month, Vanity Fair reported that Murdoch’s aides discovered a note written by his wife, Wendi Deng, in which she admitted her physical attraction to Blair, which supposedly confirmed her husband’s suspicions that they were having an affair. (For his part, Murdoch is rumored to have had an affair with Brooks, too.)

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