Rebekah Brooks's phone was hacked 'at least 20 times'

She became the subject of media interest in her personal life when she was arrested for an alleged assault on her then husband

Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News International and former editor of The Sun, has been shown evidence suggesting her phone was hacked more than 20 times by a private investigator employed by another Rupert Murdoch title, it emerged last night.

News International confirmed the 43-year-old media executive met detectives last week from Operation Weeting – Scotland Yard's third investigation into phone hacking – to see records showing she was targeted by Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective employed by the News of the World to eavesdrop on the voicemails of numerous public figures.

The alleged hacking took place between 2005 and 2006, when Ms Brooks, who is also a former editor of the NOTW, was in charge of The Sun, and raises the question of whether Mr Mulcaire was at the centre of an effort by Britain's top-selling Sunday newspaper to spy on its daily stablemate.

The revelation that Ms Brooks was a likely repeated target for Mr Mulcaire was made by Sky News, whose largest shareholder is Mr Murdoch's News Corp. In a blog, the broadcaster's City editor, Mark Kleinman, suggested the hacking could also have been done by the private investigator on behalf of a rival newspaper.

Before his arrest in August 2006, Mr Mulcaire was employed on an exclusive contract with the NOTW worth £104,000 a year to supply "research and information services". No evidence has been produced to show that the amateur footballer-turned-private detective was working for titles outside News International.

The reason why Ms Brooks, who edited The Sun between 2003 and 2009, had her voicemails intercepted was unclear, though she became the subject of media interest in her personal life in November 2005 when she was arrested for an alleged assault on her then-husband, the actor Ross Kemp. She was released without charge.

Sky News reported that legal advisers to the News International chief executive, who has always denied any knowledge of phone hacking, were considering whether to apply for a court order requiring the Yard to hand over copies of the evidence found in Mr Mulcaire's documents.

A News International spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that Rebekah Brooks was recently shown documents by the police that proved she was a victim of illegal voicemail interception." It was unclear last night whether Ms Brooks would consider joining the list of high-profile individuals suing the NOTW for breach of privacy.

In a sign that the revelations may be damaging Mr Murdoch's popularity, it appears his annual summer party is no longer the hot ticket it used to be. As the media mogul stands on the verge of achieving his dream of taking complete control of the BSkyB satellite broadcasting empire, an invitation to last night's grand bash at the ornate Orangery, in the grounds of Kensington Palace, west London, drew more refusals than acceptances.

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, who is set to announce whether the BSkyB deal can go through, has decided not to attend the party for fear that his presence might be misinterpreted. His colleague Ed Vaizey, the Culture minister, is also expected to be give it a miss. Liberal Democrat MPs, who attended in strength with Nick Clegg last year, are also likely to be conspicuously absent as the parliamentary party is attending an annual away day.

The Independent understands the event was also expected to be less star-studded than in previous years. Downing Street would not confirm whether David Cameron was attending, as he did last year with his wife, Samantha.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas