Rebekah Brooks 'No Stranger To Controversy'

PA/The Huffington Post UK  |  Posted: 11/05/2012 09:53 Updated: 11/05/2012 09:53

Rebekah Brooks
Brooks' fall from grace was almost as quick as her impressively fast rise to News International CEO

Rebekah Brooks had devoted more than half her life to serving the British arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire before her resignation in the midst of the unravelling phone-hacking scandal last July.

The 43-year-old's flair for tabloid journalism and dedication to the firm earned her the position of chief executive of News International.

As someone so adept at identifying and exposing scandals, she was by no means a stranger to controversy in her own life.

While editor of the News of the World, Mrs Brooks, nee Wade, launched a "naming and shaming" campaign identifying paedophiles following the murder of schoolgirl Sarah Payne.

The campaign boosted the paper's circulation and eventually led to new legislation - known as Sarah's Law - but was blamed for sparking vigilantism and even thwarting police investigations.

Tony Butler, the then chief constable of Gloucestershire, dismissed the campaign as "grossly irresponsible" journalism.

While married to former EastEnders actor Ross Kemp, she was arrested, but later released without charge, over claims that she had attacked him. She dismissed the incident as a row that got out of hand.

The couple divorced and in 2009 she married former racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks.

The formidable networker's wedding to Mr Brooks was attended by David Cameron and then prime minister Gordon Brown.

Growing up in Warrington, Cheshire, Mrs Brooks headed off to Paris for a stint studying at the Sorbonne, later studying at what is now the London College of Communication.

Brooks received an honourary Fellowship from the university in 2010 for her contribution to journalism, prior to the hacking scandal.

Brooks landed a job as a secretary at Eddie Shah's Messenger Group and soon found her way into reporting.

She then got a job working on the News of the World's Sunday magazine.

Sent to the Sun in 1998, two years later she landed the top job at the News of the World aged just 31.

In 2003 she became the first woman to edit the Sun and in 2009 became News International chief executive.

Mrs Brooks and her husband are key members of the influential Chipping Norton set, which also includes Mr Cameron and his wife Samantha, Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, and Mr Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth and her PR guru husband Matthew Freud.

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