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Rebekah Brooks resigned as editor of the British paper that hacked into voicemail for news scoops.
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Rebekah Brooks is the former editor of British tabloid News of the World, best known for resigning from the paper during the 2011 phone-hacking scandal, as well as for her close relationship with Rupert Murdoch.
Born Rebekah Mary Wade on May 27, 1968 in Warrington, Cheshire, Brooks attended Appleton Hall County Grammar School. She began her career in journalism at age 20, working the news desk at the tabloid The Post.
Brooks' relationship to Rupert Murdoch dates back to 1989, when she first took a job as a secretary at the Sunday tabloid News of the World. She soon became a features writer, focusing on soap operas, before becoming deputy editor. Going back and forth between News of the World and sister tabloid The Sun, Brooks took over as editor of News of the World in 2000. At the age of 32, she was the youngest editor of a national newspaper in the country's history.
Brooks also served as chief executive of News International, the subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp, which owns both tabloids. Over her two decades of climbing the ranks of Murdoch's news empire the two became close personal friends, and she is sometimes referred to in the media as Murdoch's "adopted daughter."
During her time at News of the World, Brooks oversaw several controversial policies. One was the "naming and shaming" of convicted child sex offenders— the printing of photographs and names of known pedophiles. When angry mobs attacked the homes of suspected offenders, including at least one case of a mistaken identity, Brooks was heavily criticized for promoting vigilantism.
In March of 2003 Rebekah Brooks she was called before a Parliamentary committee. She admitted that News of the World had made payments to police officers in the past—an admission that damaged her reputation with the British public.
Rebekah Brooks married British actor Ross Kemp in 2002. In 2005, the editor, still using her maiden name at the time, was herself the center of tabloid news when she was arrested for allegedly assaulting Kemp. Charges were never filed, but the couple separated in 2006, officially divorcing in 2009. The same year, Brooks married author Charlie Brooks, taking his last name.
On July 4, 2011, a new scandal emerged which eclipsed anything Brooks had experienced in her career. Damning new claims emerged about a long history of phone-hacking at News of the World, including under Brooks' leadership. As new details emerged throughout the month of July, they ignited one of the most far-reaching scandals in recent British history.
One of the most outrageous revelations was that under Brooks, News of the World hacked the mobile phone of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl who went missing in 2002. Dowler was found dead six months later, but News of the World allegedly deleted voicemail messages from her phone during the investigation into her disappearance —giving her parents false hope that she might be alive.
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