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.
Pakistani police officers are seen through the shattered windshield of a vehicle at the site of a blast in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, May 11, 2012. An improvised explosive device (IED) planted inside a manhole, went off on a road in Peshawar on Friday, causing no casualties or injuries. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)
A woman looks at a painting of French artist So[Co] displayed during an exhibition entitled 'Mythiq' 27' which focuses on artists who died at 27 years old, on May 10, 2012 in Angers, central western France. The event will run from May 11, 2012 to September 16, 2012 as part of the Artaq festival, an urban art festival. AFP PHOTO / ALAIN JOCARD (Photo credit: ALAIN JOCARD/AFP/GettyImages)
A supporter of France's incumbent President and UMP ruling party's candidate for the 2012 presidential election wears a mask representing Nicolas Sarkozy prior a campaign meeting on April 15, 2012 at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. A week before the first round of French presidential election France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has called on supporters to gather in Paris's iconic Place de la Concorde while socialist candidate Francois Hollande has summoned his backers to a concert outside the Chateau de Vincennes in working-class eastern Paris. (Photo credit: ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/GettyImages)
Sacha Baron Cohen arriving at the Dictator UK film premiere held at the Royal Festival Hall, London. (Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Protesters holding placards and shouting anti-China slogans march towards the Chinese consulate at a rally in the financial district of Manila on May 11, 2012. Hundreds of Filipinos demonstrated outside the Chinese embassy in the Philippines on May 11, over an escalating territorial row, with the protesters denouncing China's rulers as arrogant bullies. (Photo credit: TED ALJIBE/AFP/GettyImages)
Zhengzhou customs officers show two leopard hides on May 10, 2012 in Zhengzhou, Henan Province of China. A cargo inspector found two leopard hides in a parcel from Senegal, a country in western Africa, on February 20, 2011. After appraisal, they were panthera parduses, a male and a femal. One hide has 150 cm long, 68 cm wide, and its tail is 86 cm long. The other has 155 cm long, 71 cm wide, and its tail is 95 cm long. The suspect was sentenced to five years in prison with a fine of 20,000 yuan (about 3,100 USD). (Photo credit: ChinaFotoPress)
Visitors watch artworks at the opening of the exhibition Sao Paulo Arts Fair, in Ibirapuera Park, in southern Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo credit: JF DIORIO/AGENCIA ESTADO/AE)
Employee of Confectionery Felicitas GmbH, Nadine Kraemer, presents parts of a chocolate Berlin Wall with colorful motifs in Cottbus, Germany, 10 May 2012. The small parts of the Berlin Wall are handmade and the printed on graffitis are edible. The confectionary is a family business with around 50 employees who process around 400 kg of chocolate daily. (Photo credit: Patrick Pleul)
Dancers wait to participate in a performance by Cuban artist Manuel Mendive, on May 10, 2012, as part of activities of 11th Biennial of Art in Havana. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit: STR/AFP/GettyImages)