James Murdoch was compared to a mafia boss but didn't get hit with any pies during his more-than-two-hour appearance before Parliament on Thursday.

The News Corp. deputy chief operating officer told an at-times hostile Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee that the company was slow to react to growing allegations of phone hacking into the voice-mail accounts of celebrities, members of the British royal family and even crime victims by its now-closed News of the World tabloid.

"Things went wrong at News of the World," Murdoch said. "If I knew then what I knew today ... the company would have acted differently ... to sort this out and put it out."

"I have testified to you consistently about my knowledge of widespread phone hacking," Murdoch told Parliament member Tom Watson, who grilled the executive about his handling of the matter. Watson at one point compared News of the World to the mafia and Murdoch to a mafia boss, which Murdoch said he found "inappropriate" and "offensive."

Much of the questioning of Murdoch was over an email dubbed "For Neville."