Profile: Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks enjoyed a meteoric 20 year rise within News International which was eventually curtailed by her involvement in the phone-hacking scandal.

Starting out as a secretary at the News of the World in 1989 she rose up the ranks to become News International chief executive between 2009 and 2011.

She became the youngest editor of a British national newspaper in 2000 when she took charge of the News of the World following a two year spell as deputy editor at the Sun.

While at the Sun she had reportedly tried to persuade then-editor David Yelland to drop the newspaper's long standing page three girls feature.

Her role at the News of the World was typified by a similarly robust approach, with a controversial campaign to "name and shame" convicted child sex offenders.

Tony Butler, then chief constable of Gloucestershire police criticised her "grossly irresponsible" journalism.

Ms Brooks was accused of inciting mobs to harass child sex offenders round the country, resulting in one notable incident where a hospital paediatrician's house was attacked and she was dubbed a "paedo" by confused vandals.

Despite the controversy Ms Brooks successfully maintained high sales of the Sunday tabloid, regardless of the significant drops in sales for other Sunday newspapers.

However her spell as editor of the News of the World between 2000 and 2003 was to ultimately prove her undoing. The allegations around the phone-hacking of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler under her watch drew widespread revulsion and culminated in her resignation from News International last Friday.

Her comments to a House of Commons committee in 2003 that journalists had "paid police for information in the past" have come under fresh scrutiny in light of new question marks over the relationship between journalists and the police.

Ms Brooks is now facing criminal investigation over allegations of corruption and conspiracy to intercept communications and is currently on bail.

This is at sharp contrast to her six year spell as editor of the Sun newspaper between 2003 and 2009 where she was the golden girl of British journalism.

She rubbed shoulders with the rich and powerful, meeting regularly with politicians, including David Cameron who she saw socially on numerous occasions.

Ms Brooks was known initially by her maiden name, Rebekah Wade, despite her marriage in June 2002 to actor Ross Kemp, of Eastenders fame. She became Rebekah Brooks following her divorce from Mr Kemp and her subsequent marriage to former racehorse trainer and author Charlie Brooks.