Phone-hacking trial

Phone-hacking trial

  • Mr Laidlaw moves on to her relationship with former deputy and co-defendant Andy Coulson, who the prosecution claims she had six-year affair with.

    Brooks says that the pair did not work together until 1998 because he was at The Sun and she was at the NotW.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:03:05 PM
  • They became good friends through fellow journalist Chris Blythe, a close friend of Coulson's, who died in an accident abroad.

    She said: "Andy and I in 1996 were good friends, we became good friends through Chris Blythe, but it wasn't until 1998 that Andy and I became close."

    The court heard that they became "close" again between 2003 and 2005, when things were tough with Kemp.

    Under questioning from Mr Laidlaw, Brooks admitted that there was a "further brief period of intimacy" with Coulson in 2006.
  • The jury has already heard an extract from an emotional letter that Brooks drafted to Coulson before the couple split in 2006.

    She said: "Any affair, by its very nature, is quite dysfunctional. It certainly added a complexity to what was a very good friendship."
  • She met her current husband Charlie Brooks in March 2007.

    "My personal life was a bit of a car crash for many years. It's probably very easy to blame work but the hours were very long and hard and you got thrown together in an industry like that. It was wrong and it shouldn't have happened but things did.

    "Ross was a good man but the two of us weren't meant to be and certainly Andy and I weren't meant to be. When I met Charlie, I was happy for the first time."

    The couple decided to go for surrogacy because of Rebekah Brooks's fertility issues, and her cousin agreed to carry their baby.

    Their daughter was born on January 25, 2012
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:25:36 PM
  • Brooks said a letter she composed to former lover Andy Coulson was written at a time "of emotional anguish" and possibly "after a few glasses of wine".
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:38:22 PM
  • Speaking frankly about her personal life, the former tabloid editor said she had re-read the note, which was found on her computer by police investigating alleged phone hacking, several times.

    The date stamp on the file suggested it was written in February 2004, the court heard.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:38:34 PM
  • Brooks told the jury: "I seem to remember sometimes I would write things down to myself. Obviously it's a letter and I probably woke up the next morning and thought better of it. I don't think I finished it, in fact.

    "I don't know if anyone has been in this situation but at a time of hurt you come home at night and have a few glasses of wine and you probably shouldn't go on a computer but obviously that's what I did. I wrote my feelings down at that moment...

    "Obviously I wrote it in a letter form. Perhaps with the intention of finishing it and sending it but I probably thought better of it the next day."
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:38:42 PM
  • She denied prosecution claims that she and her former deputy Coulson were in a relationship for six years.

    "Firstly, it's not true," she told the Old Bailey. "I know that's what the police and prosecution say, having analysed the letter.

    "At the time I wrote this, I was in a great deal of emotional anguish, as I think you can tell from the letter, and the six-year period was me referring back to 1998. Obviously I've read that a lot since the police seized it. I have probably over-analysed it."
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:39:10 PM
  • The jury has already seen the highly-charged letter. It said: "The fact is you are my very best friend. I tell you everything, I confide in you, I seek your advice, I love you, care about you, worry about you. We laugh and cry together... in fact without our relationship in my life, I am really not sure how I will cope.

    "I'm frightened to be without you... but bearing in mind 'the rules' you will not know how I am doing and visa versa. The thought of finding out anything about you or your life from someone else fills me with absolute dread."
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:39:42 PM
  • Mr Laidlaw said he had finished questioning Brooks about her personal life.

    Brooks began telling the jury about the Sarah's Law campaign that she set up for parents to be told about convicted paedophiles living in their area.

    The campaign was named after schoolgirl Sarah Payne, who was murdered by Roy Whiting, a convicted paedophile who was living in the area without the community's knowledge.

    Brooks says that she got the idea after carrying out research and finding that president Bill Clinton had introduced similar legislation in the US.
  • Asked about the Press Complaints Commission, she says that as a "collective industry" the Press wanted to show "commitment to the code".

    She tells the jury that she got involved with writing an editorial about Sarah's Law because it was the best way for her to be able to write a "personal piece" on the matter without putting her byline on it.

    "Mr Murdoch didn't want me to be a public figure and this situation did really call for the editors to speak for themselves, so it was a slight dilemma," she says.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:43:06 PM
  • Brooks tells the court that the newspaper even changed its masthead to include the words "For Sarah" and this remained in place until January 2002.

    "I think that is when it sort of calmed down a bit - it would come up again at political party conferences but it winded down at the end of 2001 and beginning of 2002," she says.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 12:49:11 PM
  • Latest: Jurors leave court for their lunch break.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 1:05:37 PM
  • Paying tribute to Sarah's mother Sara Payne, she said: "She found it a way to cope by being really involved. She was an amazing lady and she thought that this gave her an outlet."

    Ten years on from the campaign start, the final piece of Sarah's Law went through, she said.
  • On the impact on her position at the NotW, Brooks said Sarah's Law "sort of defined my editorship in a way."

    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 1:56:43 PM
  • The jury members are back and Brooks is being asked about emails regarding former NotW chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, who has admitted conspiring to hacking phones.

  • Earlier she denied any knowledge of a contract worth £92,000 per year given to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who has also admitted phone hacking.
    by Charlotte Birch, Press... via The Press Association 2/21/2014 2:19:08 PM
  • Asked by barrister, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, if she knew anything about Mulcaire's contract, the former News International chief executive said: "No, not at all."

    Brooks admitted that, as editor, an expense as big as that should have been run past her for approval. The court has heard it is claimed that the contract was organised by former news editor Greg Miskiw, who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to hack phones.
  • Brooks moved on to discuss a story about claims that the Countess of Wessex's PR firm was selling access to the royal family in 2001.

    The court heard that the allegations had come from a former employee of the firm through PR guru Max Clifford.
  • Investigative journalist Mazher Mahmood was dispatched to discover whether there was any truth to them.

    Mr Mahmood used his usual method, posing as a 'Fake Sheikh' who was interested in doing business with the Countess's firm while using hidden cameras and listening devices.

    There was laughter in the courtroom when Brooks said: "He would live the true life of a wealthy Sheikh. He would have a Bentley and a penthouse suite. He always told me it was imperative."
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