Business, Economics and Jobs

Is Rebekah Brooks Voldemort?


Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of News of the World, was arrested Sunday, just two days before appearing in court with owner Rupert Murdoch over allegations of phone hacking.


Max Nash

So what was it like to work for Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International now under arrest for her involvement in Rupert Murdoch's News of the World scandal?

Not much fun, apparently.

That's the word from former employees who are now dishing to the Associated Press

The Brooks regime was marked by "ruthlessness and misogyny," Michael Taggart, who worked at The Sun in 2003, told the AP.

"The reporters who were prepared to subject themselves and others to the most ridicule were the ones earmarked for success," he added.

The most surprising treatment so far reportedly revolved around Charles Begley, a journalist who was News of the World's Harry Potter correspondent in 2001 when Brooks was the paper's editor.

Here's how the AP put it:

The then 29-year-old reporter said he wore a Harry Potter costume to work and officially changed his name to that of the fictional boy wizard, all part of the paper's attempt to tap into the Pottermania sweeping both sides of the Atlantic.

On Sept. 11, hours after the fall of the Twin Towers, Begley was stunned to be chewed out by News of the World management for not wearing his costume. He said he was then ordered to attend the next news meeting in full Potter regalia. 

Shaken by the demand, Begley never showed up, and soon afterward parted ways with the paper.

Other former employees are now speaking out against Brooks, too.

"It was very hierarchical," one said on condition of anonymity. "If your immediate boss told you to drive to Norfolk and stand in a field ... that's what you were expected to do."

The News of the World scandal, meanwhile, plays on today in London.

Here's the latest on how British PM David Cameron is holding up to questioning over his involvement with some of the key players.

And be sure to catch GlobalPost's London corresondent Michael Goldfarb's review of all the Murdoch drama yesterday.

It's the story that keeps on giving.