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Wolverine leak claims first victim?

Fox News columnist reportedly up for chop

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Updated A FoxNews.com journalist got himself into serious hot water over the weekend after he published a review of an illegally downloaded copy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine ahead of its 1 May release.

As we reported last week, an incomplete version of the superhero movie was leaked early onto various BitTorrent websites, and since then has been downloaded thousands of times.

Fox News columnist Roger Friedman was among those unable to resist the temptation of getting their hands on a copy of the film before it makes its big screen debut.

Reports over the weekend claim that News Corp, which owns Fox News, had fired Friedman following his decision to illegally download Wolverine.

However, at time of writing it’s unclear if the reporter has a future with the US-based news outfit or not. Some reports are suggesting he has already been fired while others are saying that Friedman will face Fox News execs today.

The reporter wrote about Wolverine in his weekly column last Thursday. Fox News has since taken the piece down.

On Sunday News Corp claimed in a statement that Fox News had in fact sacked Friedman.

"Roger Friedman's views in no way reflect the views of News Corporation. We, along with 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, have been a consistent leader in the fight against piracy and have zero tolerance for any action that encourages and promotes piracy.

“When we advised Fox News of the facts they took immediate action, removed the post, and promptly terminated Mr Friedman," it claimed.

However Friedman has since denied that any action had been taken against him.

Wolverine made its unauthorised debut last Tuesday. Its distributor, 20th Century Fox, coughed to the embarrassing leak the following day, when the studio said it would easily be able to track down the culprit.

It has since enlisted the help of the FBI, and uncorroborated reports are suggesting that a raid in Dallas has already taken place that could have connections to the case.

All of which makes the run-up to the movie hitting the box office more exciting than the film's actual release, we think. ®

Update

Fox News issued a statement yesterday (6 April) in which it confirmed that Friedman had been fired following the hoopla caused by his decision to review an unauthorised version of Wolverine ahead of its official box office release.

"Fox News representatives and Roger Friedman met today and mutually agreed to part ways immediately," said the media firm.

"Fox News appreciates Mr Friedman's ten years of contributions to building foxnews.com and wishes him success in his future endeavors. Mr Friedman is grateful to his colleagues for their friendship and support over the past decade."

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