LONDON (Reuters) – British police have questioned CNN host Piers Morgan in connection with allegations of phone-hacking at the Daily Mirror, a newspaper he formerly edited, local media reported on Friday.
Morgan, a former judge on America’s Got Talent who replaced Larry King on CNN in 2011, was interviewed by police in December, he said in a statement to the Guardian newspaper.
Morgan, 48, has always denied any involvement in phone hacking. Trinity Mirror, which publishes the Mirror, declined to comment and there was no immediate comment from a spokeswoman for Morgan. CNN could not be immediately reached for comment.
British police confirmed that they had interviewed under caution a 48-year-old male journalist as part of Operation Golding in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails.
Operation Golding is the inquiry into phone-hacking at the Mirror newspaper and was a spin-off from a long-running investigation into similar criminal allegations centered on Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World newspaper.
“A 48-year-old man, a journalist, was interviewed under caution on the December 6, 2013 by officers from Operation Golding in connection with suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails,” a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said.
“He was interviewed by appointment at a south London police station. He was not arrested.”
Two former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson are currently on trial in London accused of conspiracy to hack phones. Morgan edited the Mirror from 1995 to 2004.
Morgan has written in his published diaries about a “little trick” for eavesdropping on voicemails that he heard of as early as 2001 and also wrote in a newspaper column in 2006 about listening to a personal voicemail former Beatle Paul McCartney had left for his ex-wife.
Giving evidence to a public inquiry in December 2011 Morgan refused to say who had played him the recorded message of the call, saying he was protecting a source. Morgan also edited Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid from 1994 to 1995.
(Reporting by Michael Holden and Kate Holton, editing by Guy Faulconbridge)