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Rebekah Brooks says she didn't know about payments

  • Associated Press
  • February 21, 2014 - 10:45 AM

LONDON — Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks Friday told jurors at her phone-hacking trial that she did not know of a substantial contract between her newspaper and a private investigator who has admitted illegal eavesdropping.

She said she was unaware of a contract for her newspaper to pay 92,000 pounds a year to private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, although she acknowledged that an expenditure of that magnitude normally would have required her approval.

Brooks, 45, faces one charge of conspiring to commit misconduct in a public office, as well as charges of conspiring to hack phones and obstruct police. Her husband, race horse trainer Charlie Brooks, and her former deputy and ex-lover Andy Coulson are on trial as well.

The jury had learned of her affair with Coulson when the prosecution presented its case earlier in the trial, which has lasted four months so far. Evidence about the affair was introduced to show the close relationship between Brooks and Coulson in support of the prosecution claim that they were part of a conspiracy.

The defendants have denied any wrongdoing in the long-running phone-hacking scandal, which led to the closing of the News of the World tabloid.

Much testimony Friday focused on Brooks' tangled personal life, which included unsuccessful attempts to have a child with ex-husband Ross Kemp, a popular TV actor, and her affair with Coulson, who later served as communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron.

"My personal life was a bit of a car crash for many years," she said. "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."

The personal questions came from Brooks' lawyer. Brooks seemed near tears as she described unsuccessful fertility treatments during her marriage to Kemp.

© 2014 Star Tribune