Prince Harry defended by Rupert Murdoch: 'Give him a break'
Prince Harry might be in the media spotlight for his nude escapades in Las Vegas last week but media mogul Rupert Murdoch thinks the prince might deserve a break.
On Sunday, August 26, the 81-year-old wrote, "Prince Harry. Give him a break. He may be on the public payroll one way or another, but the public loves him, even to enjoy Las Vegas."
Murdoch, an Australian-born media mogul who is the Chairman and CEO of global media company News Corporation, also owns the U.K. tabloid newspaper The Sun, which was one of the few U.K. news outlets publish the Prince Harry nude photos on Friday.
Last year, Murdoch's News of the World tabloid was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal in which journalists were caught hacking phones of hundreds of people to get scoops.
The scandal prompted a judge-led media ethics inquiry, which could impose changes to how the press is policed and subject media outlets to government regulation in the U.K., according to The Associated Press.
The publishing of the Prince Harry photos by The Sun was meant to demostrate press freedom in the U.K. and for Murdoch to show he still had some pull, according to the British news outlet The Independent.
The report seems to be backed up by a Tweet by Murdoch on August 25. The mogul responded to a user who applauded The Sun for publishing the photos despite the wishes of the royals.
"Thanks! Needed to demonstrate no such thing as free press in UK," Murdoch wrote. "Internet makes mockery of these issues. 1st amendment please."
Meanwhile, Prince Harry could face more embarrassment as reports have surfaced that there are additional compromising photos and videos from his nude billiards game in Las Vegas last week.
On Thursday, TMZ reported that Harry was hanging out with two male friends when they decided to bring a group of young women they had just met back to their hotel suit. According to the entertainment site, "several girls" had taken cell phone photos of the prince and "more photos were taken" after clothes came off.
Since the scandal, Prince Harry has received several offers to continue his nude streak. Playgirl has already expressed interest in having the royal pose for the nude magazine.
Earlier in the week, Buckingham Palace officials confirmed that the leaked photos were authentic, after TMZ posted photos of the prince playing pool in the nude inside what the gossip outlet says is a room at the Wynn's Encore Tower Suites in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One photo shows him standing and covering his private parts while glancing at a television, while what appears to be a topless woman is seen next to him. A second photo shows him standing naked behind another nude person.
It is indeed the 27-year-old prince in the pictures, palace officials told CNN and a royal source told Reuters. A spokesperson for the prince told the news wire: "We are not commenting specifically on the photos."