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Saturday 30 August 2014

NOTW trial: Andy Coulson Rebekah Brooks affair 'continued to 2007'

Emily Pennink

Published 25/04/2014 | 12:08

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Andy Coulson. Photo: Oli Scarff
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey in London, as the phone hacking trial continues. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 25, 2014. See PA story COURTS Hacking. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks arrives at the Old Bailey in London
Former Editor of the News of the World newspaper Andy Coulson arrives with his wife Eloise Patrick at the Old Bailey in central London April 15, 2014
Former Editor of the News of the World newspaper Andy Coulson arrives with his wife Eloise Patrick at the Old Bailey in central London April 15, 2014

Andy Coulson's affair with Rebekah Brooks went on until he resigned as editor of the News of the World, the hacking trial heard.

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Coulson denied the relationship went on for six years, but said it continued until January 2007.

Under cross examination by prosecutor Andrew Edis QC, the ex No 10 spin doctor told the court that he had a different interpretation from Brooks, who he succeeded as editor of the Sunday tabloid.

In a draft letter she wrote but never sent in February 2004, Brooks said she had been "waiting for six years" for him.

But the married father of three said it was "not a wholly accurate representation" of events.

He said the affair started in 1998 and stopped "soon after" but it resumed around the end of 2003 or early 2004.

He said: "In between time there was a very long period the relationship was what it should have been, which was friendship.

"From 2004 it was by no means continuous but the affair did continue until around the time I left the NotW."

Asked if Brooks's version was wrong, Coulson replied: "I'm not using the words completely false - it was a very complicated situation. People have different interpretations of it on both sides."

Coulson's wife Eloise was in court as he gave evidence for the seventh day at the Old Bailey.

Earlier, the court heard that when he resigned over former royal editor Clive Goodman's phone hacking, he agreed a leaving package of £600,000.

The same day his departure was announced, Goodman was jailed, with private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, making him "effectively unemployable", his lawyer David Spens QC said.

Coulson said the agreement he made was for two years' pay plus a month for every year served. He added: "I did not consider that unusual."

Coulson, 46, of Charing, Kent, denies conspiring with Brooks and others to hack phones. He also denies conspiring to commit misconduct in public office.

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