Murdoch group tried to 'destroy' me: ex-F1 boss Mosley
Former Formula One chief Max Mosley told an inquiry Wednesday that Rupert Murdoch's News International tried to "destroy" him after he challeged a story about his involvement in a sadomasochistic orgy.
The inquiry into British press standards heard that Mosley, 71, took the publisher of the News of the World to court after it published a front-page story in March 2008 entitled "F1 boss has sick Nazi orgy with 5 hookers."
But after Mosley sued over the untrue Nazi claims and over the wider invasion of privacy, News International's lawyers sent video of the incident to the International Motoring Federation (FIA) and invited its members to view it.
"I had the impression from the outset that as soon as I challenged the original story, that the entire resources of News International... were then deployed effectively to destroy me," Mosley told the judge-led inqiury.
"One way of doing that was by sending it to the FIA, getting them to look at it and hoping that they would get rid of me."
Mosley also alleged that Neville Thurlbeck, the News of the World's former chief reporter, had during a rehearsal for the tabloid sting coached one of the woman involved in the orgy to try to get him to give a Nazi salute on a hidden camera.
"At the beginning of the tape, Thurlbeck is saying to her: 'When you get him to do the sieg heil, get him to stand back about three metres when you get him in the shot,'" Mosley said.
Mosley, whose father Oswald Mosley led a British fascist party in the 1930s, has acknowledged paying five women for sex, but said the event was a prison fantasy and not Nazi-themed.
A British court awarded him 60,000 pounds ($96,000, 69,000 euros) in damages from News Group, the division of News International which ran the News of the World and still runs The Sun, and the judge ruled there was no Nazi element.
Earlier this month a French court fined News Group 10,000 euros ($13,800) and ordered it to pay 7,000 euros in damages for violating Mosley's privacy, after 672 copies of the newspaper were distributed in France.
Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry in July amid a spiralling scandal about phone-hacking by the News of the World.
© 2011 AFP