The News of the World killed an exclusive story on science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke's pedophilia because he was a friend of owner Rupert Murdoch, according to a new book. Graham Johnson, then reporting at the now-defunct newspaper, recounts in Hack how editors who normally outed pederasts made an exception in Clarke's case. The alleged reason: Murdoch had publicly praised Clarke and capitalized on his theory that satellites are perfect for communications, reports the Independent.
The Sunday Mirror heard about the shelved story and interviewed Clarke, who said he "never had the slightest interest in children—boys or girls. ... But once they have reached the age of puberty, then it is OK." He added that "there is a hysteria about the whole thing in the West," but later denied being a pedophile. A former News of the World editor now recalls the story being scuttled "because of legal reasons" and says Murdoch never told him to spike stories. Clarke died at his Sri Lanka home four years ago.