Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch Mutually Agreed on Her Exit From News International
LONDON – Rupert Murdoch confidante Rebekah Brooks, who on Friday resigned as head of News Corp.'s U.K. newspaper unit News International, said the decision to close The News Of The World, the paper at the center of phone-hacking scandal was “a collective one” taken with her, the management and Rupert Murdoch.
Brooks, giving evidence just a short 15 minute break after Rupert and James Murdoch had finished their appearance before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee in Parliament Tuesday, said “we all talked together” before taking the decision to shutter the long-published title.
She described the alleged hacking of murder victim Milly Dowler's phone as "pretty horrific and abhorrent".
She also said she first heard of the phone hacking of Dowler’s “from the media” but that she was involved in the long running story “over many years.”
She told the committee she only learned the first allegation that Dowler’s voice mail had been intercepted “two weeks ago.”
Appearing exhausted yet determined Brooks opened her account before the Committee with contrition, declaring what has gone on in her latter days at The News of The World as “pretty horrific.”
Dressed in a blue suit sporting a heart-shaped pendant around her neck her signature and her shock of curly red hair, Brooks began by saying she hoped to be as “open as possible” but that she had her lawyer with her so she did not "impede those criminal proceedings" - having been arrested at the weekend before posting bail pending further police investigation.
She was also whether payments to the police were widespread across newspapers or confined to News International.
She categorically stated she had never paid a policeman or sanctioned a payment.
But she did say the use of private investigators to source material for scoops and stories was common practice “across Fleet Street,” the collective term for national newspapers here.
She also revealed that her own cell had been hacked by Glen Mulcaire, the investigator convicted and jailed for phone-hacking.