PARENTS

Rebekah Brooks: My Cousin Was My Daughter Scarlett's Surrogate Mum

14/08/2014 16:58 | Updated 20 May 2015

Rebekah Brooks reveals the identity of the surrogate who carried her daughter

Rebekah Brooks has revealed that her cousin was the surrogate mother who carried her daughter Scarlett.

During the phone-hacking trial, the ex-tabloid editor was close to tears when she was questioned about the possibility of having children with ex-husband Ross Kemp. She then went on to reveal her infertility struggle with current husband Charlie Brooks.

The couple welcomed their daughter Scarlett two years ago, using a then unknown surrogate.

Brooks's barrister Jonathan Laidlaw QC apologised in advance for bringing up her love life, including her relationship with former EastEnders hard man Kemp and her affair with her former deputy Andy Coulson.

Brooks told the packed courtroom that she first met Kemp in 1995 and they got engaged 'quite quickly' the following year, before splitting up in 1997.

But the couple later tried to rekindle their romance.

"We got back together again around the end of 1998. We started speaking again at my 30th birthday. It was a slow process, having gone from meeting to getting engaged and it not working out, we decided to take it a bit easier."

She was then asked about the state of their relationship in 2001.

"Pretty good by 2001, and we brought up the subject of ... taking things more seriously and buying a house and getting married and having children."

Mr Laidlaw said 'I'm sorry I have to do this' and pointed out that Brooks had lowered her voice as she spoke about children.

The 45-year-old mother of one appeared to well up as she asked for a break.

Brooks then returned to the witness box more composed. She told the court that in 2001 she started fertility tests.

That April, her relationship with Ross was 'very good' and they married in June. She said: "I started fertility treatment in mid-2001 and continued into 2002."

But the marriage came under strain in 2003 with the start of the Iraq war. In a quiet voice, she said: "I think we were both working incredibly long hours... they are completely different industries and the war in Iraq started pretty soon after I became editor and we were doing 4am, 5am editions.

"Me and my senior team at the Sun moved into a hotel next to Wapping to live and Ross was doing incredibly long hours filming, so 2003 was a tough year for us."

Mr Laidlaw went on to ask about her relationship with Coulson. Brooks was asked about periods of 'physical intimacy' with Coulson, which began in around 1998. The jury has already heard an extract from an emotional letter that Brooks drafted to Coulson before the couple split in 2006.

She said: "Any affair, by its very nature, is quite dysfunctional. It certainly added a complexity to what was a very good friendship."

She met her current husband Charlie Brooks in March 2007.

"My personal life was a bit of a car crash for many years. It's probably very easy to blame work but the hours were very long and hard and you got thrown together in an industry like that. It was wrong and it shouldn't have happened but things did.

"Ross was a good man but the two of us weren't meant to be and certainly Andy and I weren't meant to be. When I met Charlie, I was happy for the first time."

The couple decided to go for surrogacy because of fertility issues, and Brooks's cousin agreed to carry their baby.

Their daughter was born on January 25, 2012. Speaking about her and her husband's decision to use a surrogate, she said: "It's a big thing to do.

"My mum was out shopping in Warrington one day and she bumped into my cousin who I was very close with at school. My cousin asked mum how we were getting on, how the latest treatment had gone and mum said 'they are going to knock it on the head', I think. They knew it was a very, very small chance anyway, and she said 'I'll do it'.

"And she did."

Source: Press Association

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