Ex-newspaper head Brooks becomes a parent

2012-01-26 20:15

London - Rebekah Brooks, a central figure in the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World last year, has become a parent by a surrogate mother, her spokesperson said.

Brooks resigned as chief executive of News International, Murdoch's British newspaper group, last July at the height of the furore over phone-hacking allegations at the mass-selling Sunday tabloid.

She became a crucial figure as, with the support of Murdoch, she refused to stand down and instead closed the 168-year-old newspaper. She was accused by departing journalists of acting to protect her own career.

The scandal also revealed her close ties to members of Britain's establishment, from Prime Ministers to senior police.

The baby girl, named Scarlett Anne Mary Brooks, was born at the Portland Hospital in London on Wednesday, the parents said in a statement.

Brooks and her husband, former racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, had been trying for a baby for a number of years. They called the baby "our beautiful little miracle".

The 43-year-old has been arrested over the hacking scandal and was released on police bail. She was editor of the paper when people working for the title intercepted voicemail messages left for missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler who was later found dead.

She has always denied knowledge of the practice.

Brooks has long been a favourite of Murdoch, rising through the ranks of the News of the World to become the Sunday paper's youngest editor in 2000, before becoming editor of The Sun daily tabloid three years later.