Monday 19 February 2018

Emotional Brooks tells court about her 'car-crash' love life

Rebekah Brooks with husband Charlie at the Old Bailey yesterday. Reuters
Rebekah Brooks with husband Charlie at the Old Bailey yesterday. Reuters

Martin Evans

Rebekah Brooks has described her personal life as a "car crash" as she told the phone hacking trial of her failed marriage to actor Ross Kemp and her affair with co-accused Andy Coulson.

Giving evidence for a second day, the 45-year-old former chief executive of News International became emotional and was forced to leave the witness box briefly as she described how she had unsuccessfully tried for a baby. She later gave details about how her cousin had agreed to be a surrogate for her daughter who was born in March 2012.

Asked about claims she and former 'News of the World' editor Mr Coulson had a six-year affair, she said they were best friends who had periods of intimacy, but denied it had lasted throughout the entire period.

Referring to a letter shown to the jury earlier in the trial, in which she described her love for Mr Coulson, Mrs Brooks said it had been written after a "few glasses of wine" but she had thought better about sending it.

She went on: "I do not know if anyone has been in this situation in a time of hurt, at night after a few glasses of wine, you probably shouldn't get on your computer.

"But that is obviously what I did. I wrote my feelings down in the moment. These are my thoughts really to myself but I wrote it in a letter form, probably with the intention of sending it, but I probably thought better about it the next day."

The intimate details emerged at the Old Bailey as Mrs Brooks continued to be questioned by her barrister Jonathan Laidlaw about her life

She explained how she met 'EastEnders' actor Kemp in 1995 and became engaged a year later. They split shortly afterwards but gave the relationship another go in 1998, agreeing to get married and try for a family.

But as Mrs Brooks began to talk about her desire for children, she became emotional and asked to leave the witness box. When she returned, she explained that she had undergone a series of fertility tests in 2001 and 2002, but the marriage eventually faltered.

She told the court: "I am sure if Ross was here he would say the same. Our whole relationship was a bit of a roller coaster. Sometimes it was very good and sometimes it wasn't."

Describing her relationship with Mr Coulson, she said they had first become intimate in 1998 and then again for a period between 2003 and 2005.


She said there had been a brief period of intimacy again in 2006. Asked if their physical relationship affected their friendship, she replied: "Andy and I were incredibly close during that time. He was my best friend – it certainly complicated the friendship.

Mrs Brooks explained how she had met her current husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, in 2007 and the pair had quickly become close.

She said: "Everyone now knows my personal life was a car crash for years."

She went on: "When Charlie and I met, I think it's fair to say we knew very quickly we wanted to be together and I told Charlie obviously about the fertility treatments in the past and said that if we did get together and he wanted children, I probably wasn't the right person.

"And anyway, we overcame that and he said he wanted to get married anyway."

Explaining how their daughter Scarlet was born in 2012, Mrs Brooks said: "My mum was out shopping in Warrington one day and she bumped into my cousin, who I was very close to at school. My cousin asked how we were getting on, how the latest treatment was going." She said out of the blue her cousin had agreed to carry their child.

Mrs Brooks is facing one count of conspiracy to intercept communications, one count of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and two counts of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Six other defendants face a range of charges. All the defendants deny all the charges and the trial continues.(©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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