Testifying today before a British ethics inquiry investigating tabloid press behavior, former child star Charlotte Church claimed not only had the press destroyed her career with intrusive coverage, but that when asked to perform at Rupert Murdoch's wedding she was told she would receive favorable coverage from his media outlets, in lieu of a six-figure paycheck.
From the Associated Press [emphasis added]:
Church told the inquiry how she was asked to sing at Murdoch's wedding when she was just 13. She was offered 100,000 pounds ($155,000) to perform, or told she could do it for free in order to be looked on favorably by the Murdoch press.
She said at first she wanted to take the payment but was advised by her managers to skip the payment to curry favor with the mogul.
She said the strategy of seeking Murdoch's favor had obviously failed.
Church also described how one newspaper had a countdown before her 16th birthday to mark the moment when she would reach the age of consent and be old enough to legally have sex.
Church's quid pro quo allegation comes in the wake of startling news from Australia where last week a former senator claimed that he was offered favorable press coverage from Murdoch's local newspapers if he voted against pending media legislation that Murdoch's company opposed.