Ex-editor Rebekah Brooks says she is innocent, feels vindicated by phone hacking acquittal

Associated Press

Rebekah Brooks says she is innocent of phone hacking and other crimes and feels vindicated by a jury's unanimous decision to acquit her.

The former News of the World tabloid editor made her first public statement since being cleared this week of conspiring to hack phones, bribe officials and obstruct police.

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Standing Thursday beside her husband Charles — who was also acquitted — Brooks said the last few years "have been tough." She said "I have learnt some valuable lessons and hopefully I am the wiser for it."

Brooks said she would offer support to former colleagues who still face charges.

Dozens of journalists have been arrested since the revelation that Rupert Murdoch's now-shuttered News of the World eavesdropped on the voicemails of thousands of people.