Hugh Grant On TODAY: U.K. Politicians ‘Were Terrified’ Of Rupert Murdoch

He’s the guy many Americans know as the sweet and adorable British prime minister from romantic comedies, and now he’s the face of the U.K.’s outrage over the phone hacking scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp–Hugh Grant, who this morning told NBC’s Matt Lauer that one of the reasons the hacking of celebrities, politicians and others went on for years is that the government lived in fear of Murdoch’s power. “He had the power through his papers to get them elected, and his paper knew dirty details about individual MPs and so they were unwilling ever to take him on.”

Grant, who was a phone hacking victim himself, described a culture where reporters used any means necessary to get exclusive stories, police were paid off, and politicians chose access to Murdoch over investigating what was happening at his newspapers:

Only three weeks ago, all our major politicians in this country were sucking up to Rupert Murdoch and drinking champagne on his lawn at his summer party, and so it’s almost comic that today in Parliament they’re all competing to say he’s a terrible person.

Watch it here, from NBC:

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