Rebekah Brooks says she feels 'vindicated' by phone-hacking verdict and pledges to support former colleagues
Rebekah Brooks has made her first public statement since being cleared of phone-hacking charges, saying she feels "vindicated by the unanimous verdict".
Standing outside her London flat beside husband Charlie, the former News International chief executive told the assembled media: "The last few years have been tough for both of us and those close to us."
She added that recent events have been tough for everyone affected by the issues in the case and went on to thank friends and family for their "strong and unwavering support".
Asked about her reaction to the not guilty verdict, Brooks said she was "innocent of the crimes I was charged with" and felt "vindicated by the unanimous verdicts". She went on to say she was grateful to the jury for seeing through the "maelstrom" of comment, much of which was "unfair."
The former editor said she was still limited in what she could say due to pending legal action against other News International journalists but vowed to do "everything I can do to help them". Asked if she could have done more to stop the "criminality" at the News of the World, Brooks ended the press conference saying she was going home to spend "much needed time with her family".
As the couple moved through the scrum of reporters and cameramen, Charlie Brooks was asked his thoughts on the conviction of Andy Coulson, he replied with one word: "Sad."
Why was Rebekah Brooks found not guilty? Read James Doleman's full report from the Old Bailey.