James Murdoch told British lawmakers that “these actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to.”
The two men were being grilled before an appearance by their former UK newspaper chief, Rebekah Brooks.
Rupert Murdoch said it was “the most humble day of my life.”
Before the both Murdoch were grilled, London’s departing police chief revealed on Tuesday that 10 of the 45 press officers in his department used to work for News International, but he denied there are any improper links between the force and Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.
Paul Stephenson was giving evidence to a committee of lawmakers investigating wrongdoing at the now-shuttered tabloid News of the World, and allegations of bribery and collusion between Murdoch employees and the police.
“I understand that there are 10 members of the (Department of Public Affairs) staff who have worked in News International in the past, in some cases journalists, in some cases undertaking work experience with the organization,” he said.
News International is the British newspaper division of Murdoch’s global News Corp.
Stephenson denied wrongdoing, or knowing the News of the World was engaged in phone hacking, but acknowledged that in retrospect he was embarrassed the force had hired Neil Wallis, a former executive of the paper, as a PR consultant.
After being asked about his relationship with Wallis, who was arrested last week, Stephenson said he had “no reason to connect Wallis with phone hacking” when he was hired for the part-time job in 2009.
He said now that the scale of phone hacking at the paper has emerged, it’s “embarrassing” that Wallis worked for the police.
Stephenson announced his resignation Sunday, saying allegations about his contacts with Murdoch’s News International were a distraction from his job.