LONDON Feb 21 Rebekah Brooks, the former boss
of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers, denied having a six-year
affair with fellow editor Andy Coulson but said they did have
periods of physical intimacy over a number of years.
Taking the stand for the second day at her trial, Brooks
said on Friday she had been extremely close friends with
Coulson, and on occasion had intimate relations with him between
1998 and 2006.
Coulson, a former editor of Murdoch's now-defunct News of
the World tabloid, went on to become the spokesman for Prime
Minister David Cameron. He is also on trial with Brooks over
charges relating to phone hacking. They both deny the charges.
The prosecution has charged that the two former editors had
a six-year affair at the time their staff were hacking into
voicemails to secure exclusive stories.
Revealing their close ties in October, prosecutor Andrew
Edis had told the jury that the intimacy of their relationship
indicated both knew as much as the other about the criminal
activities of senior journalists on the paper.
"First of all it's not true," she said, of the prosecution's
allegation of an affair, before accepting suggestions from her
lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw that they had had moments of intimacy.
"My personal life was a bit of a car crash for many years
and it was probably very easy to blame work: the hours were very
long and hard and you get thrown together in an industry like
Brooks and Coulson are accused of conspiring to hack into
phones of high-profile public figures or those close to them and
also making illegal payments to public officials.