Hacking Trial: Rebekah Brooks Says Rupert Murdoch Asked Her Not to Resign (Report)
LONDON – Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of Rupert Murdoch's U.K. newspaper operation, said the media mogul asked her not to resign in mid-2011 when the phone hacking scandal erupted.
Speaking at the hacking trial here, Brooks said Tuesday that he asked her "not to resign" by phone and later during an in-person meeting the day that the News of the World tabloid closed, the Guardian reported.
The paper closed July 10, 2011, as Murdoch decided to shutter the 168-year-old tabloid amid the scandal.
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The Guardian quoted Brooks as saying that she had gone to her Oxfordshire, England home over the weekend to spend time with her mother and get emotional support in a time of crisis.
That Sunday, Brooks and husband, Charlie, went to the home of James Murdoch, then chairman of News International, the U.K. newspaper arm of what was then News Corp., the Guardian reported. His home was only a 25-minute drive away, the paper quoted Brooks as saying.
Brooks told the court that she and James Murdoch, who is now deputy COO of the post-company-split entertainment firm 21st Century Fox, discussed her future and the "Sky situation," the Guardian reported. The latter was a reference to then-News Corp.'s offer to acquire full control of U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB. The bid failed amid the scandal, and 21st Century Fox continues to own a 39 percent stake.
The Guardian quoted Brooks as saying that the two then waited for the arrival of Rupert Murdoch in the U.K. During an in-person meeting, Murdoch again rejected her suggestion of a resignation, according to the paper.
Brooks on Tuesday also was asked in court if she had instructed her secretary to hide notebooks amid a police investigation into hacking allegation the Friday before the Murdoch meeting. "No," the Guardian quoted her as saying.