26 Jun 2014

Rebekah Brooks: ‘I am innocent and feel vindicated’

Speaking for the first time since being acquitted, former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks reiterates her innocence, thanks the jury, and promises to support former colleagues in future trials.

Standing next to her husband Charlie, Ms Brooks told assembled reporters: “I am innocent of the crimes I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdict.”

“When I was arrested it was in the middle of a maelstrom of controversy, of politics and comment – some of that was fair, but much of that was not, so I am grateful to the jury.”

Asked for her reaction to the extent of criminality at the papers she worked at, Ms Brooks said: “I’d like to say it’s been a time of reflection for me. I’ve learned some valuable lessons and hopefully I’m the wiser for it.”

Future trials

She expressed pride in the many journalists she had worked with during her career, and the campaigning work they had done, adding: “All I can say to you is that today my thoughts are with my former colleagues and their families who face future trials. I’m going to do everything I can to support them as I know how anxious the times ahead are.”

Witch hunt

Asked if he stood by his assertion two years ago that the trial was a witch hunt, Charlie Brooks said “yes”. He told reporters: “absolutely everything we said two years ago has proved to be true.”

He went on to pay tribute to his wife’s conduct in the face of the “unprecedented investigation of an incredibly forensic and personal nature”, saying “I’d just like to say how proud I am of Rebekah and the dignity she has shown.”

He went on to say that he was really concerned for Andy Coulson and his family, adding “we wish them well.”