Nick Clegg has told the Leveson Inquiry that the press "ignored or derided" him and the Liberal Democrats before they entered government.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that at one dinner party with Rupert Murdoch and News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks in 2009, he had been put at the "very end of the table where the children sit".
The following March he had lunch with The Sun editor Dominic Mohan, and a "brief" meeting with Mrs Brooks and Mr Murdoch lasting a maximum of ten minutes.
He also said most of his meetings with editors and proprietors were "fairly humdrum".
The Lib Dem leader revealed he knew News Corporation lobbyist Fred Michel, whose close contacts with Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's office sparked controversy, because their children attended the same school.
Mr Clegg told the inquiry into press ethics that his strong performance in the first televised general election leader's debate had sparked a major shift in attitudes towards him and his party.
He said it was a contrast to when he became leader of the party in 2008 when many senior figures did not "know me from Adam".