TV star Amanda Holden was tipped off some time in 2003 that her phone had been, for some considerable time, hacked by Mirror Group Newspapers. Piers Morgan, the man this morning at the centre of a new Hackgate storm following further Radio interview revelations, was the editor of the Mirror from the mid 1990s until May 2004. Last week, Morgan issued a flat denial of involvement in phone hacking live on his CNN spot. US show business sources were later this morning mulling whether Mr Morgan’s job as the Larry King replacement in CNN’s talk-show slot may now be in jeopardy.
The Slog has learned from two cast-iron media and show business sources that Ms Holden was informed about the illegal hacking of her mobile 7-8 years ago by an MGN insider who disliked “what was going on” at the Mirror. Ms Holden’s affair with Neil Morrissey (while she was still married to Les Dennis) was a major embarrassment to her at the time, during 2000.
On Page 74 of his diary compilation God Bless America, Piers Morgan writes next to 11th February 2007:
‘The third [Britain's Got Talent] judge was going to be Cheryl Cole, but on Friday she pulled out at the last minute.
Last night [Simon] Cowell texted me the name of her replacement: Amanda Holden.
The Mirror, under my editorship, exposed Amanda’s affair with Neil Morrissey.’
The exposure took place on Morgan’s watch during 2000, and then in 2004 Holden and Dennis divorced. Ms Holden is now happily married to a senior production executive, and has a five year old daughter. She gained wide sympathy following the loss of her second baby in February this year.
The Holden camp remained tight-lipped today, declining to comment. But only last month, the 39 year-old celebrity revealed that she turned down the chance of appearing on the former newspaper editor’s Life Stories chatshow. Holden told The Sun that she is planning to write a tell-all autobiography in the near future anyway. She said, “I think I will write a book. Why would I waste that on his show?”
One other celeb keen to remain anonymous told The Slog within the last hour, “If she’s serious, his could mean even more trouble for Morgan. I have heard from friends that Amanda remains wary of Piers. He still wields a lot of power in the business….although by the looks of things, that might be about to change”.