Getting smacked by Rupert Murdoch’s wife wasn’t enough, so the man who threw a pie at the NewsCorp CEO is going to jail.
Johnathan May-Bowles, also known as “Jonnie Marbles,” pled guilty to the charges of causing harassment, assault, alarm, and distress during British parliamentary proceedings when he attempted to shove a pie in Murdoch’s face as the world’s cameras watched the media tycoon explain himself for the phone hacking scandal that shook the media world last month.
The judge sentenced the pie-throwing comedian to six weeks in jail.
His lawyer called the sentence “excessive” and plans to appeal.
The pie incident managed to overshadow, at least temporarily, the main subject of the parliamentary proceedings. When the video clip of May-Bowles’ attempt to pie the 80 year-old Murdoch went viral, the world seemed to immediately engage in a conversation about anything but the phone hacking scandal.
From several news articles asking, “Who is Jonnie Marbles?” on major sites in the U.S. to Chinese romantics admiring the love that Wendi Deng Murdoch must have for her husband to protect him without hesitation, all attention was focused on the pie, not the lie.
In fact, Rupert Murdoch’s 42-year-old, former volleyball player wife who literally jumped to her husband’s defense inspired former CBS evening news anchor, Katie Couric to tweet: “Wow wendy murdoch giving whole new meaning to the term tiger mother...insanity!”
Katie Rosman, a technology and pop-culture writer for the Wall Street Journal, said the smackdown was good for Murdoch’s image.
“That pie thrower did more for Murdoch than Edelman ever could,” she tweeted in reference to PR firm Edelman, which the Murdochs had recently hired, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Although May-Bowles might have helped the very man he wanted to hurt and Murdoch did not press charges, the judge who sentenced him wanted to make a point, nonetheless.
"This is a parliamentary process, which as you know, conducts itself with dignity and in a civilised fashion,” District Judge Daphne Wickham said. "Everybody else in the room expected that, with one exception - you.”
Shee added, "You attended those proceedings with only one intention, to disrupt them."
The judge refused to grant bail and ordered May-Bowles to remain behind bars.