A Los Angeles-based journalist is the latest to be arrested in the massive News of the World phone-hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch's media empire.
Award-winning former News of The World reporter James Desborough is the first U.S.-based journalist to be arrested in connection with the phone-hacking investigation that has until now been confined to the UK.
The involvement of a U.S.-based journalist raises the question of whether American celebrities and public figures may have been victims of the same tactics allegedly used to scoop stories about high-profile British figures and crime victims.
Sienna Miller, the British royal family, and a murdered 13-year old girl are among the targets of phone-hacking on the part of News International, the publishing division of News Corp.
Desborough was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications, contrary to section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977, and on suspicion of corruption allegations contrary to Section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Those are believed to be the same charges brought against former News International CEO Rebekah Brooks and former News of The World managing director Stuart Kuttner. As was the case with Brooks and Kuttner, Desborough was arrested after reporting to a pre-arranged meeting at a London police station.
Desborough, who remained with News of the World until the newspaper closed in July, has been hailed as a tenacious reporter with an uncanny ability to scoop a story.
He was promoted at News of the World to Los Angeles-based U.S. editor in April 2009, shortly after winning the British Press Award for showbusiness reporter of the year, The Guardian reported.
At the awards ceremony, the judges praised Desborough for his series of uncompromising scoops which mean no celebrity with secrets can sleep easy, according to the Guardian.
Desborough continued to be recognized for his journalistic skills after moving to the U.S. The Website Hollyscope.com applauded him for seem[ing] to have information that not even close family members ... know.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Desborough was among the journalists who followed Kate Middleton and Prince William's every move on their trip to North America.
Desborough's arrest is the 13th to be made in the phone-hacking investigation.