Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks
and her husband Charlie Brooks arrive at the Old Bailey
courthouse. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
Rebekah Brooks fought back tears at the Old Baile as she
detailed her "car crash" private life and dysfunctional
relationship with fellow editor Andy Coulson as part of her
defence against phone-hacking allegations.
Taking the stand for the second day, the 45-year-old close
friend of Rupert Murdoch and the last three British prime
ministers, said she had had periods of "physical intimacy"
with Coulson but denied a prosecution charge that they had a
Prosecutor Andrew Edis had opened the trial in October by
arguing that the close nature of the relationship between the
two former editors of the News of the World tabloid meant
they both knew as much as the other about the criminal
activities of journalists on the paper. Brooks and Coulson
both deny conspiracy to hack into mobile phone voice
Three senior journalists and a private investigator have
admitted conspiracy to hack phones. Coulson, who succeeded
Brooks in editing the now-defunct paper and is also on trial,
went on to become Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman.
"My personal life was a bit of a car crash for many years,"
Brooks said, shortly after asking for a break as her lawyer
began asking questions about her first "roller coaster"
marriage to soap actor Ross Kemp, her relationship with
Coulson and her second marriage to racehorse trainer Charlie
Brooks said she had been extremely close friends with
Coulson, and on occasion had intimate relations with him
between 1998 and 2006. "It was wrong and it shouldn't have
happened but things did," she said.
The 45-year-old Brooks had told the jury on Thursday how she
had worked her way up through the ranks from local newspaper
researcher to head of Murdoch's British newspaper arm.
The relationship between the two former editors was
discovered after police found a document containing a 2004
letter on a computer at Brooks' London home. She had written
the letter after Coulson tried to break off the relationship.
"I do not know if anyone has been in the situation at a time
of hurt - you come home and have a couple of glasses of wine
and shouldn't go on the computer," she said, adding that the
letter was written at a time of "emotional anguish", before
she woke up the next day and thought better of sending it.
"Any affair, by its very nature, is quite dysfunctional," she
Brooks also revealed that a cousin had acted as a surrogate
to help her and her second husband have a baby, called
Scarlett. Charlie Brooks, a friend of the prime minister whom
she married in 2009, is also on trial for trying to hide
Over two days of questioning in the witness box, Brooks's
lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw led the former Murdoch protege
through the details of her private life, how she operated in
the male-dominated tabloid world and how a mass-selling
tabloid was run.
On Friday, she detailed how she had signed a 1 million pound
deal to secure excerpts of footballer David Beckham's
autobiography and how the paper had run a damaging story on
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, who is married to the Queen's
youngest son Edward.
The Countess had been duped by a reporter who dressed as a
Detailing the financial side of the paper, Brooks told the
court she had not been aware of the tens of thousands of
pounds that was paid to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire
who has admitted phone-hacking to generate exclusive stories.
The jury were told that Greg Miskiw, a former senior News of
the World journalist who has admitted conspiracy to hack into
phones, had arranged an annual contract with Mulcaire of
92,000 pounds, unbeknown to Brooks who was editor at the