Brooks attacks 'gender-based' criticism

Rebekah Brooks suffered more criticism and gossip about her relationship with Rupert Murdoch because she was a woman, she said today.

Mrs Brooks said no one would write “the first thing” about her dealings with the media mogul if she was a “grumpy old man”.

The former editor of The Sun and the News of the World told the Leveson Inquiry she would be hypocritical to complain about intrusion into her personal relationships, but a lot of the criticism and gossip she experienced was “gender-based”.

Brooks, 43, became chief executive of Mr Murdoch’s UK newspapers division News International in September 2009 until she resigned in the wake of the hacking scandal last July.

She said during her appearance today that a lot of trivial questions had been put to her – in her evidence she quashed a rumour that the pair used to swim together when Mr Murdoch was in London.

She also denied that, after she was arrested in 2005 over an alleged assault on her then-husband, Mr Murdoch sent an outfit to the police station where she was being held.

Mrs Brooks was released without charge and the police took no further action.

“I think that my relationship with Mr Murdoch – if I was a grumpy old man of Fleet Street, no one would write the first thing about it,” she said.

She said it would be the “height of hypocrisy” for her to complain about intrusions into her personal life, but said: “However, I have had these complaints from people in my career as a journalist and I have always tried to understand and always tried to use my judgment to where the line fell.

“As to my own situation, well, it’s been a difficult year, but a lot of the questions that I have had from Mr Jay (Robert Jay QC, counsel to the inquiry), I felt concentrated on quite a trivial side.

“I am happy to discuss them but I’m not sure it helps this inquiry, whether Mr Murdoch bought me a suit or not, or I went swimming with him.”

She told the inquiry the Murdochs were “just like any normal family, they have dynamics and they change”.

Asked by Mr Jay if a claim made in Vanity Fair that she became a “go-between” in an increasingly fraught relationship between Rupert and James Murdoch was true, she said: “No, they could speak to each other.

“I reported both to James and Rupert Murdoch and I would talk to them both about the issues unfolding at News International.

“James and I had offices next door to each other. I would be talking to Mr Murdoch every day.

“And if Vanity Fair wants to couch that as a go-between, then fine, but I don’t accept the premise of what they are insinuating.”

More on this topic

Police failure to investigate Milly Dowler phone hacking 'unacceptable'Police failure to investigate Milly Dowler phone hacking 'unacceptable'

Confirmed: James Murdoch to succeed father as Fox chief in JulyConfirmed: James Murdoch to succeed father as Fox chief in July

Sun journalist hits out at 'witch hunt' against the paperSun journalist hits out at 'witch hunt' against the paper

EastEnders star wins damages against newspaper and Metropolitan PoliceEastEnders star wins damages against newspaper and Metropolitan Police


More in this Section

‘Dangerous moment’ as England eases lockdown restrictions, says medical chief‘Dangerous moment’ as England eases lockdown restrictions, says medical chief

Minneapolis overwhelmed again by protests over George Floyd deathMinneapolis overwhelmed again by protests over George Floyd death

US National Guard summoned to aid cities amid custody death protestsUS National Guard summoned to aid cities amid custody death protests

EU urges Trump to rethink American funding cut for WHOEU urges Trump to rethink American funding cut for WHO


Lifestyle

Fearless is a slick new documentary airing next Monday on RTÉ 1 which follows Cork native and editor-in-chief of US Glamour, Samantha Barry, in the run up to the 29th Glamour Women of the Year Awards. Ruth O’Connor speaks to Barry about her editorship of one of Condé Nast's most important media outlets.The fearless Samantha Barry: From Ballincollig in Cork to editor of Glamour

This time last year Whiddy Island in West Cork was bustling with people who had caught the ferry for the short trip from Bantry to ramble the island’s boreens as part of the Bantry Walking Festival. Not so this year.Islands of Ireland: Whiddy in the same boat

Gomera is always replete with stories to tell, and this week is no exception.Damien Enright: Merciless predation on the beaches of Gomera

Denis Summers-Smith, the sparrow expert, died on the 5th of May last at the age of 99.Richard Collins: Adaptable sparrow — the ultimate home bird

More From The Irish Examiner