Letter Sparks Concern That Mark Thompson Misled About Sex Allegations

A new letter has fanned the flames already scorching new New York Times CEO Mark Thompson. The ex-BBC chief has claimed that he only learned of the sex allegations against British celebrity Jimmy Savile after he left his job, but the note might prove otherwise. Thompson is facing heat because people have claimed that he killed a news program that was investigating Savile, in the hopes that it would quell the scandal.

According to the Times (by the way, it must be brutal to be dragged over the coals by your own company), the letter was sent to The Sunday Times, by lawyers representing Thompson and another unnamed BBC executive. People who have seen the note told the Times that it contained “a summary of the alleged abuse, including the allegation that some abuse might have occurred at the BBC.” The letter was sent 10 days before Thompson left the BBC.

An aide to Thompson while he was at the BBC told the Times that he did “verbally authorize” his lawyers to send it. However, “It’s not clear if he was shown it, but he doesn’t remember reading it.”

It would be quite odd for someone of Thompson’s position — or anyone, really — to agree to a letter that threatened to sue another company without reading it, don’t you think? We have a feeling things are going to get a lot hotter for Thompson.