News Corp. has given Rebekah Brooks, the former editor of its scandal-ridden News of the World tabloid, quite a severance package — $2.7 million, use of her company limousine and driver and an office in central London – the Guardian reports.
Brooks, a close associate of News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, resigned in July from her post as CEO of News International, News Corp.’s British publishing division. This followed allegations that she knew about the company's complicity in a major phone-hacking scandal.
For her troubles, Brooks not only received the large payment, but access to the company limo for two years and the pricey office for the same stretch of time.
This hefty settlement for someone so closely linked to the hacking scandal will likely produce another series of questions for James Murdoch, Rupert’s son and Brooks’ former boss.
Murdoch is set to testify before Parliament Thursday, his second appearance since the scandal reignited in July.
Brooks was the editor of the News of the World from 2000 to 2003, when some of the hacking is believed to have occurred. She was then the editor of the Sun, another News Corp. tabloid, from 2003 to 2009.
Just this past week, the London Metropolitan police arrested a journalist from the Sun on suspicion of bribing a police officer. Murdoch’s company also fired Matt Nixson, the features editor of the Sun, in July due to possible connections with hacking at News of the World.
Finally, as CEO of News International since 2009, Brooks oversaw News Corp.'s various British papers, including the News of the World.
All of this raised questions as to what she knew about the cases of hacking and bribery — some confirmed, some alleged — leading to her resignation.
It also caused the London police to arrest Brooks in July over phone-hacking allegations and sent Brooks before Parliament that same month, where she denied knowledge of what happened. Due to the pending criminal investigation, she also refused to answer several questions.