How the Wade was sprung

By Dominic Ponsford

Not
just one, but two News International editors spent several hours at
Battersea Police Station on Thursday morning, Press Gazette can reveal.

Sun
editor Rebekah Wade was arrested at 4am outside her Battersea home last
week after an altercation with soap-star husband Ross Kemp.

She
used her phone call from the police station to ring close friend Judy
McGuire, editorial director of News International’s magazine division,
who she asked to get in touch with News of the World editor Andy
Coulson.

Coulson went straight to Battersea Police Station with
a lawyer and spent the next few hours helping to negotiate Wade’s
release.

A well-placed source told Press Gazette: “Everyone
always goes on about the rivalry between the News of the World and The
Sun and between Rebekah and Andy, but when push came to shove he showed
his loyalty and Rebekah is very grateful for his help.

“The
police were determined to do everything by the book, particularly given
The Sun’s recent campaign on domestic violence, and Andy and Rebekah
understood that.”

After representations from Wade’s lawyer, the
police decided not to interview her. Although early reports suggested
Wade had struck Kemp, on Friday she said in The Sun that it was “just a
silly row which got out of hand”.

Coulson’s loyalty may have also extended to making little reference of Wade’s dramatic arrest in this week’s News of the World.

The
splash and two inside pages were devoted to Angela Bostock’s assault on
ex-partner Steve McFadden, Ross Kemp’s on-screen brother, which
coincidentally happened just five hours after Wade’s marital dust-up.

Just a couple of lines of that story were devoted to Wade and Kemp’s altercation.

However,
one Fleet Street insider said: “Although people have said the other
papers went easy on her, the reality is that Angela Bostock was
actually charged. She accepted a caution, which means she was found
guilty of something. If someone is cautioned it’s a better story than
if they are released without charge.”

Sun proprietor Rupert
Murdoch is apparently standing by his editor despite her domestic
difficulties. The evening after she was released by police, Murdoch
took Wade out to dinner at Christopher’s restaurant on the Strand in
London.

According to an insider: “Murdoch has given her absolute support, both publicly and privately.”

Wade is not the first Murdoch editor to make headlines after an exposé by another journalistic outlet in the empire.

Andrew
Neil, editor of The Sunday Times from 1983-1994, was the subject of a
front-page News of the World story in 1988 when it revealed that his
former girlfriend Pamela Bordes was a high-class prostitute. He made
further headlines with a subsequent libel action against former editor
Peregrine Worsthorne over a Sunday Telegraph story referring to the
affair.

Kelvin MacKenzie was another Sun editor to have his private life splashed across rival media.

The Mail on Sunday caught the married editor sharing a Barbados “love nest”

with a News International secretary.

According
to employment lawyer Charlie Pring, from Taylor Wessing, Wade’s actions
of last week would be unlikely to constitute a sackable offence.

He
said most large companies have clauses in their employment contracts
forbidding actions that bring the company into disrepute.

But he said for such a dismissal to stand up at an employment tribunal it would have to follow a criminal conviction.

Comments
No comments to display

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

1 × one =

CLOSE
CLOSE