(LONDON) -- Fresh allegations that not one but three of Rupert Murdoch's newspapers had been involved in illegal activities have marred the media mogul's multi-billion dollar deal to buy full control of British Sky Broadcasting.
Monday's allegations that the Sunday Times and Sun newspapers allegedly used deception to try to obtain former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's private financial records was the latest in an unfolding scandal that saw Murdoch's News of the World fold last Sunday.
News International's Sunday Times allegedly had details that Brown obtained an apartment from controversial publishing magnate and former member of parliament Robert Maxwell for a "knock-down price," according to the BBC.
Brown told the BBC that he believes that the paper was "trying to prove a point," that it was "completely wrong" and wanted to bring him down in his then role as Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The Sun went much further when it allegedly stole Brown's family's medical records. Though no one but his family knew in 2006 that Brown's newborn baby son, Fraser, had cystic fibrosis, the Sun splashed the exclusive across its front page in November 2006.
"Sarah and I were incredibly upset about it," said Brown. "We were thinking about his long-term future, we were thinking about our family," Brown told BBC News, adding that he was in tears when he was told by News International journalists that the Sun had the information about his son's condition.
The Sun claimed that "the story was used to increase national understanding of the condition, in partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust."
News International allegedly was aware as far back as 2007 about questionable practices used by the News of the World to obtain the confidential information about the royals. Such a breach, if true, represents a huge lapse in security and a threat to Queen Elizabeth.
If News Corp. did in fact know of the News of the World's practices, it did nothing.
In emails received by police last month, Clive Goodman -- the paper's recently arrested royals reporter -- requested cash from the now-disgraced editor Andy Coulson to buy a top secret directory called the "Green Book," according to the BBC. The directory contained all the confidential phone numbers of the royal family and their staff.
In the email, Goodman allegedly said that a royal protection officer had stolen a copy and wanted £1000 for it.
The unfolding scandal couldn't come at a worst time for Murdoch, who days ago believed he would be closing one of the biggest deals of his life. The worldwide media mogul was on the verge of buying full control of British Sky Broadcasting, Britain's biggest commercial network.
The British government signaled Monday that it would delay -- and possibly halt altogether -- Murdoch's $19 billion deal to purchase BSkyB as a result of the public outrage surrounding the growing scandal.
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