Skip to main content

UK media abuzz as phone hacking trial reveals Brooks-Coulson affair

By CNN Staff
updated 1:00 PM EDT, Fri November 1, 2013
Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks are accused of charges including conspiring to hack voicemails and conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office.
Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks are accused of charges including conspiring to hack voicemails and conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former News of the World editors are on trial in voicemail-hacking scandal
  • British media cite the prosecution as saying the pair were involved for six years
  • In a letter read out to the court, Brooks tells Coulson she loves him, the reports say
  • Brooks and Coulson deny the charges

London (CNN) -- The courtroom claim that Rebekah Brooks, a protege of global media baron Rupert Murdoch's, and Andy Coulson, a former spin doctor for British Prime Minister David Cameron, had a six-year affair has set British media abuzz.

The two are accused of charges including conspiring to hack voicemails and conspiring with others to commit misconduct in public office. Brooks also faces a charge of perverting the course of justice. Both deny wrongdoing.

Their trial at the Old Bailey in London has gripped the British press -- and the prosecution's claim Thursday that the two had a clandestine affair made the front pages of half a dozen national newspapers Friday.

Several quoted at length from a letter allegedly written by Brooks as Coulson tried to end their relationship and read out by prosecution lawyer Andrew Edis to the court.

Reportedly found on a computer seized from Brooks' home, it said, "The fact is that 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. ... In fact without our relationship in my life, I am really not sure how I will cope."

The Mirror called it a "hacking bombshell," saying the court was "told of gushing love letter from ex-News of the World editor."

The Independent headlined its story "The affair they didn't expose," a reference to the tabloid newspapers' history of revealing other people's cheating.

It's not clear whether Coulson ever saw the letter, the media reports said.

The Guardian cited Edis as saying the jury needed to know about the secret relationship because the two are accused of conspiring together. It revealed how close they were and the level of trust they had, he said.

The affair ran from 1998 to 2004, the newspapers cited the prosecution as saying, during some of which time both Brooks and Coulson were married to other people.

Brooks and Coulson, both former editors of the now-defunct News of the World, were both formerly close to Cameron.

Coulson, who edited the News of the World from 2003 to 2007, went on to become Cameron's director of communications before resigning early in 2011.

Brooks, who also edited The Sun, was a friend of the prime minister and his wife.

Brooks, formerly chief executive of News of the World's parent company, News International, resigned from that role in the wake of public anger over claims of hacking by the newspaper's employees.

Three former journalists who worked at the News of the World have pleaded guilty to phone hacking, British media reported Wednesday, citing the prosecution in the case.

The three who pleaded guilty are Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Greg Miskiw.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:09 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The U.S. and several Arab nations carried out airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, intensifying the campaign against the militant group.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Her friends were raped and her brother was killed by ISIS, but 15-year-old "Aria" managed to escape.
updated 6:58 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Emma Watson lent her name and her glittery profile to the cause of feminism at the United Nations.
updated 9:06 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
From Gadhafi to Ahmadinejad, Bush to Chavez: look back at memorable moments from past UNGA sessions. Richard Roth reports.
updated 3:41 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Just days after NASA's Mars orbiter reached the Red Planet, India's first mission could follow suit and make history.
updated 4:14 PM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Khorasan, al Qaeda's new branch, seeks new ways to attack America and Europe.
Alibaba officially became the biggest initial public offering of all time, confirming that in the final tally it raised $25 billion.
updated 10:57 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Do the Chinese really like to mix their Bordeaux with Coca-Cola?
updated 5:36 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Cape Town native, Janine Davies is South Africa's first female rider to compete on a national level.
In the largely male-dominated world of the motorsport, South African super bike racer Janine Davies is an anomaly.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
The Lilongwe Wildlife Center houses over 200 animal victims and helps rehabilitate them back into the wild.
updated 6:52 AM EDT, Tue September 23, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT