Paul McCartney says appears to be phone hacking victim

Thu Aug 4, 2011 4:51pm EDT

Related Topics

* Says expects to learn more when he talks to U.K. police

* Calls it "a horrendous violation of privacy"

* Ex-wife Mills hacking claim could implicate Mirror Group

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Former Beatle Paul McCartney said on Thursday that he appears to be a victim of the newspaper phone hacking scandal in Britain and will be talking to police when he finishes a U.S. tour.

Speaking to journalists in Los Angeles via satellite from Ohio, McCartney said he did not have the full facts but called phone hacking by British newspaper journalists a "horrendous invasion of privacy."

"When I go back (to Britain) after this (U.S.) tour, I am going to talk to the police because apparently I have been hacked," McCartney said.

"I don't know much about it because they won't tell anyone except the person themselves. So I will be talking to them about that.

"I do think it's horrendous violation of privacy. I do think it has been going on for a long time and I do think more people than we know knew about it. But I think I should just listen and hear what the facts are before I comment," McCartney told reporters gathered in Los Angeles for a bi-annual meeting of television critics.

McCartney's ex-wife British model Heather Mills told the BBC earlier this week that a journalist working for a British newspaper had confronted her with details of a message left by McCartney on her phone in early 2001 following an argument with the singer.

The claim by Mills appeared to widen the hacking scandal from News Corp-owned British newspapers to rival publications in the Daily Mirror group.

It also put pressure on Piers Morgan, who edited the Mirror from 1995-2004 and who is now a talk show host for CNN. Morgan has repeatedly denied any involvement in phone hacking.

British police are conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into claims that journalists and private detectives seeking gossip for stories illegally intercepted voicemail messages on the phone of people ranging from celebrities and politicians to murder victims.

Mills and the famously private McCartney were married from 2002 before their relationship ended in a bitter and messy divorce in 2008.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Eric Walsh)

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