Rebekah Brooks on hacking trial verdict: 'I am innocent - I feel vindicated'

The former News of the World editor said she 'had learned lessons' from the case
  • @lizziedearden

Rebekah Brooks has said she "learned valuable lessons" during the phone hacking trial but feels "vindicated" by the jury's not guilty verdict.

Speaking to reporters alongside her husband Charlie Brooks, who was also cleared, she said the years of investigations into herself and her former paper had been "very difficult" for the couple and their family.

"They have been difficult for everybody on both sides who have been affected by the issues in this case," she said.

"I am innocent of the crimes I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdicts.

"When I was arrested, it was in the middle of a maelstrom of controversy, politics and comment. Some of it was fair but some of it was not."

Video: Brooks speaks for the first time after being cleared of phone hacking

When questioned about whether she thought she should have done more to stop hacking at the News of the World, she did not give a direct answer.

She told the crowd of reporters: "It's been a time of reflection and I have learned some valuable lessons."

Ms Brooks could not be pushed to comment on her former colleague Andy Coulson, who was found guilty of one count of phone hacking but faces a possible retrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict on other charges.

She said her thoughts were with former colleagues who faced an "anxious" time as their cases continue.

Her husband, Mr Brooks, said he was "very sad" for Mr Coulson but that he had little to add to the statements he had made when arrested two years ago.

He said he was "very proud" of how his wife coped with the "personal" aspects of the investigation, hinting at lurid revelations about her affair with Coulson.

Ms Brooks was acquitted unanimously of all charges on Tuesday at the Old Bailey.

The one-time editor of the News of the World was overcome with emotion as she was found not guilty of involvement in a conspiracy to hack phones between 2000 and 2006, as well as misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Brooks and Mr Coulson, along with retired managing editor Stuart Kuttner, were acquitted of being part of a conspiracy to hack phones over the course of a six-year period.