Mirror reporter 'admits Mills hack'
A senior Mirror Group journalist admitted hacking voicemails left for Heather Mills by Sir Paul McCartney, Ms Mills has claimed.
The journalist made the admission in 2001, Ms Mills told BBC2's Newsnight programme.
Sir Paul's former wife said that after he left the voicemail, the journalist rang her quoting parts of the recording. When challenged about how they knew what was said, Ms Mills said they admitted the message had been hacked.
The BBC, who declined to name the journalist allegedly involved, said it was not Piers Morgan, editor of the Daily Mirror at the time. Mr Morgan issued a statement describing Ms Mills' claims as "unsubstantiated".
Ms Mills told the programme that in early 2001 she had a row with her then-boyfriend Sir Paul, who later left a conciliatory message on her voicemail while she was away in India.
According to Ms Mills, a senior Mirror Group Newspapers journalist rang her and "started quoting verbatim the messages from my machine". She said she challenged the journalist, saying: "You've obviously hacked my phone and if you do anything with this story ... I'll go to the police." She said they responded: "OK, OK, yeah we did hear it on your voice messages, I won't run it."
In a 2006 article in the Daily Mail, Mr Morgan referred to hearing a recorded message which Sir Paul had left for Ms Mills, a spokesman for the programme said.
In a statement issued through CNN, Mr Morgan said: "Heather Mills has made unsubstantiated claims about a conversation she may or may not have had with a senior executive from a Trinity Mirror newspaper in 2001. The BBC has confirmed to me that this executive was not employed by the Daily Mirror.
"I have no knowledge of any conversation any executive from other newspapers at Trinity Mirror may or may not have had with Heather Mills. To reiterate, I have never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, nor to my knowledge published any story obtained from the hacking of a phone."
Mirror Group Newspapers is part of Trinity Mirror plc which publishes many titles including the Daily and Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and People. A Trinity Mirror spokesman said: "Our position is clear. All our journalists work within the criminal law and the PCC code of conduct."