Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was nearly accosted with a "plate of foam" wielded by 'comedian' Jonnie Marbles during a British parliamentary inquiry, Reuters reports. The inquiry was suspended immediately after the incident. 

Initial reports from major news outlets indicated Murdoch had actually been struck with the pie, but were later retracted.

Earlier, Murdoch had declared his appearance at the inquiry was "the most humble day of my life," taking a contrite tone over the phone-hacking scandal rocking his global media empire.

Appearing alongside Murdoch, his son James apologized for phone hacking at the family's now-scuttledNews of the World tabloid.

"These actions do not live up to the standards our company aspires to," James Murdoch told lawmakers.

The two men were being grilled before an appearance by their former UK newspaper chief, Rebekah Brooks.

James Murdoch said the company acted as swiftly and transparently as possible.

Politicians sought more details about the scale of criminality at the News of the World, while the Murdochs will try to avoid incriminating themselves or doing more harm to their business without misleading Parliament, which is a crime.

Lawmakers are also holding a separate hearing to question London police about reports that officers took bribes from journalists to provide inside information for tabloid scoops and to ask why the force decided to shut down an earlier phone hacking probe after charging only two people.

Detectives reopened the case earlier this year and are looking at a potential 3,700 victims.

London's departing police chief revealed 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.

"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," Paul Stephenson said.

News International is the British newspaper division of Murdoch's global News Corp.

London's Metropolitan Police force said Tuesday it had asked a watchdog to investigate its head of public affairs over the scandal - the fifth senior police official being investigated. The Independent Police Complaints Commission will look at Dick Fedorcio's role in hiring a former News of the World executive as an adviser to the police.

Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a visit to Africa and is expected to return to Britain for an emergency session Wednesday of Parliament on the scandal.

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