LONDON: Former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson were having an affair for much of the time they were allegedly involved in phone hacking at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid, a London court heard.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) the affair, from 1998 to 2004, proved “they trusted each other” and supported charges that they conspired to hack phones to glean stories for the newspaper, which was renowned for its celebrity scoops until Murdoch closed it in disgrace two years ago.
Brooks edited the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when her deputy Coulson took over as editor. A close confidante of Murdoch’s, Brooks went on to become chief executive of his British newspaper operations while Coulson became Prime Minister David Cameron’s media chief.
Both Brooks and Coulson deny hacking and related allegations in the high-profile trial at the Old Bailey in London, which also involves six other defendants including Brooks’ current husband.
Her affair with Coulson was revealed in a love letter dated February 2004 that was found on her computer, the court heard. She apparently wrote it in response to Coulson’s efforts to end the relationship.
Both were married at the time—Brooks wed her first husband, actor Ross Kemp, in 2002. Coulson married in 2000 and has two children.