EXCLUSIVE: Arrested NOTW Editor Says He's A “Victim”

James Desborough, the former U.S. editor of News of the World who was arrested Thursday in London in connection with the widening phone hacking scandal, described himself last month as a “victim” of the situation.

Contacted by phone on July 11, just one day after News of the World was formally shut down in the wake of the scandal, Desborough was asked by Media Matters what he thought of the newspaper closing and the hacking allegations.

He stated: “I'm afraid I'm one of the recent people, I'm one of the victims of the cull, you know.”

He declined to speak more on the record, saying he might be more forthcoming in two weeks.

“I'm still working for the company at the moment and I can't really say anything,” Desborough told Media Matters. “I just wanted to ring you back to be polite.”

According to The New York Times:

The reporter, James Desborough, worked for the tabloid in Britain for five years before being sent to Hollywood in 2009. It is not clear when the actions he is being accused of -- essentially illegally hacking into other people's voice-mail messages -- took place or whether they occurred while he was at the tabloid. Before he was hired there in 2005, he covered celebrity culture for The People, a Sunday tabloid owned by Trinity Mirror.

Desborough told Media Matters that at the time he was the lone U.S. staff journalist for News of the World, though he noted that the paper did work with stringers.