I feel vindicated but I am wiser, says defiant Brooks
A defiant and emotional Rebekah Brooks has said she feels "vindicated" in her first public statement since her acquittal in the phone-hacking trial.
The former editor of the 'News of the World' and the 'Sun' appeared close to tears as she staged a chaotic press conference outside her £5m (€6m) London home, restating her innocence "of the crimes I was charged with".
Standing next to her husband Charlie, who was also cleared at the end of the eight-month trial, Mrs Brooks (46), described a "tough" period "for everybody ... affected by the issues highlighted by the case".
Mrs Brooks and her husband, (51) were cleared on Tuesday of charges relating to the hacking of voicemails during her tenure at News International, publisher of the 'Sun' and the defunct 'News of the World'.
Yesterday, 48 hours after she was overcome with relief as the not guilty charges were read out, Mrs Brooks kept the press pack waiting before emerging from her front door at 5pm.
She said: "Of course, the last few years have been tough for both of us."
In a nod to the victims of phone hacking, Mrs Brooks added: "But, more importantly, they have been tough for everybody on all sides that have been affected by the issues highlighted by this case and therefore throughout the three-year police investigation and through our eight-month trial at the Old Bailey we have always tried to put our troubles in perspective."
"I am innocent of the crimes that I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdicts.
"When I was arrested, it was in the middle of a maelstrom of controversy, of politics and of comment. Some of that was fair but much of it was not so I am very grateful to the jury for coming to their decision."
She said it had been a "time of reflection" during which she had learned "valuable lessons" and she was "the wiser for it".
Although Mrs Brooks made no direct reference to Andy Coulson – who was found guilty of phone hacking – she said she was "incredibly proud" of journalists she had fought "great campaigns" with. (© Daily Telegraph, London)