LONDON (AP) — Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks said Tuesday that she received abuse and death threats after it was revealed the newspaper had hacked the voicemails of a murdered 13-year-old girl. But she also got messages of support from high-profile figures including CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Brooks was testifying for an eighth day at her trial on phone hacking-related charges. She denies guilt. Brooks headed Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers when the scandal erupted in July 2011, and said she soon became the focus of the "horrific" story.
The court was read an email from Morgan, a former tabloid editor, telling Brooks to "grit your teeth and stay strong." Brooks replied: "Can't believe any reporter would do that" — referring to phone hacking. "Must have been Mulcaire."
Private investigator Glenn Mulcaire has pleaded guilty to hacking voicemails on behalf of the News of the World. Blair wrote: "Let me know if there's anything I can help you with. Thinking of you. I've been through things like this."
Brooks replied that "hopefully even in this climate the truth will out." The jury heard earlier that Blair had offered to work as an unofficial adviser to Brooks and Murdoch over the scandal. Murdoch shut the News of the World after news broke that its employees had eavesdropped on the voicemails of Milly Dowler, who was kidnapped and murdered in 2002.
Brooks resigned on July 15 and was arrested two days later. She and six others are accused of wrongdoing, including phone hacking, bribing officials and obstructing a police investigation. All have pleaded not guilty.
Brooks' lawyer, Jonathan Laidlaw, asked Thursday whether she had asked her personal assistant and co-accused Cheryl Carter to hide evidence by removing boxes from the archives of Murdoch's News International. Brooks replied: "Absolutely not."