Ex Murdoch editor Brooks: "I made lots of mistakes"

LONDON Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:55am EST

LONDON Feb 27 (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, Rupert Murdoch's former British newspaper boss, told her trial over alleged phone-hacking offences on Thursday that she had made lots of mistakes and had regrets about some stories during her time as editor of his tabloids.

Brooks, who edited Murdoch's News of the World and Sun papers from 2000 to 2009, said she regretted some of the stories and headlines, saying some were cruel, harsh and "just wrong".

"I personally made lots of mistakes", she told London's Old Bailey court.

The 45-year-old, who was the boss of News Corp's British paper arm until 2011, made the remarks as she gave evidence for the fifth day at court where she denies charges of conspiracy to hack phones, authorising illegal payments to public officials and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

The jury were shown a series of newspaper stories from the Sun, Britain's biggest-selling daily, where Brooks said the "speed of decisions" at the helm had led to lapses in judgement.

The first concerned former British heavyweight boxer Frank Bruno and the headline above a story about him which read "Bonkers Bruno locked up".

"This day I had been involved in many, many meetings," she said. "It was a terrible mistake I made."

She said she had immediately had the headline changed after her ex-husband had pointed it out to her when she got home.

Another incident where she had "gone too far" was a personal attack on former Labour minister Clare Short over her opposition to daily pictures of topless models on page three of the Sun, a tradition of the paper since 1970.

The Sun responded to Short by publishing a doctored photograph of her bare-breasted, accused her of being "jealous", and parked a busload of models outside her house.

Brooks said this had been "cruel" and "harsh". "It was just too personal, it was just wrong," she added.

Earlier she told the court she had been brought to the Sun from the News of the World Sunday tabloid, because of her zeal for campaigning.

"Mr Murdoch had been quite pleased with the campaigning tone of the News of the World and wanted to take that to the Sun," she said.

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