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Saturday 21 April 2018

Rebekah Brooks turned to ex husband Ross Kemp at height of hacking, court hears

Ross Kemp and Rebekah Wade in 2005
Ross Kemp and Rebekah Wade in 2005
Rebekah Brooks at the Old Bailey in London

Emily Pennink

Rebekah Brooks turned to ex-husband Ross Kemp at the height of the hacking crisis at the News of the World, the Old Bailey heard yesterday,

Police retrieved emails from the BlackBerry of the former News International chief executive after her arrest in July 2011, the hacking trial was told.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC read out emails between Brooks and the TV hard man as they arranged to meet.

On June 23 2011 at 11.03pm, Brooks writes to Kemp: "Hello. How are you? Need to talk to you about phone hacking at some point. When are you around?"

At 12.30am the same night, she emailed her personal assistants: "Need my 2002, 2003 diaries."

The next day, ex-EastEnder Kemp emails her back, saying: "Over a month is too long. A stone lighter though. Shall we have coffee? Am I in trouble? I'm always in trouble."

Then on July 5, one of Brooks's personal assistants Deborah Keegan emails Brooks: "Ross called. Sends his best wishes. Says really good to see you and Charlie (Brooks's current husband) at the weekend. Call if you want."

Three days later, boxes allegedly containing Brooks's notebooks were taken out of the News International archive by her other personal assistant Cheryl Carter.

That day, Brooks emails Carter: "Coffee and hot milk separately, please - this is disgusting."

Carter replies: "Coming up."

Later, the jury was told to read the full love letter from Brooks to former News of the World (NotW) editor Andy Coulson which the trial heard about last year.

There was silence in the courtroom and neither party reacted in the dock. Brooks sat with her husband Charlie Brooks on her left, and Coulson two empty seats away on her right.

Mr Edis went on to read a section of the letter to the court in which Brooks tells Coulson: "You are my very best friend. I tell you everything, I confide in you, I seek your advice, I love you, care about you, worry about you. We laugh and cry together."

She goes on to say she does not know how she will cope, adding: "I'm frightened to be without you."

Brooks, 45, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, denies conspiring to hack phones, conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office and conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Coulson, 46, of Charing, Kent, denies conspiring to hack phones and conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

Brooks's husband Charles Brooks, 50, of Churchill, Oxfordshire, and former personal assistant Carter, 49, of Chelmsford, Essex, also deny conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

All seven defendants deny the charges against them.

The trial will continue on Monday February 17.



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