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Brooks’s Husband Hid Porn From Police to Avoid Embarrassment

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Rebekah Brooks’s husband told a London court that he hid laptops and DVDs from police at the height of the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal to avoid embarrassing his wife.

Charlie Brooks, 51, hid the material, which included pornography and book ideas, on the day Brooks was arrested in July 2011 because he didn’t want the police to leak it to the press, he said today on his second day in the witness box.

Brooks, the former head of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, and her husband, are among seven people on trial for wrongdoing at the company’s British newspapers. Prosecutors say that Charlie Brooks conspired along with his wife to destroy evidence after phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid triggered a national scandal.

“I didn’t want to embarrass my wife,” Charlie Brooks said. “Incredibly stupidly and rashly I just” hid the material.

He said he wanted to avoid a “Jacqui Smith” moment, referring to the former U.K. Home Secretary. Smith lost her job in 2009 following revelations that her husband had paid to watch adult films and claimed them on her parliamentary expenses.

“The DVDs were of an embarrassing nature and the Sony Vaio had some important book ideas and it also had a bit of smut on there as well,” Brooks said.

‘Impulsive’ Decision

Earlier in the trial Rebekah Brooks said her husband’s decision to hide the laptops was an “impulsive, ill-thought-out thing to do.”

Rebekah Brooks “went ballistic,” when he told her about his plan to hide the material from police and that he had lost the bags, Charlie Brooks said today.

“You went out of your way to hide stuff that you thought the police might want to seize,” Andrew Edis, a prosecution lawyer, said opening his cross-examination of Charlie Brooks today.

That’s “a fair comment,” Charlie Brooks replied.

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch closed the weekly News of the World in 2011 following the scandal caused by the discovery that journalists at the tabloid had listened to messages on the phone of a murdered teenager.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy Hodges in London at jhodges17@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net Peter Chapman

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