News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch tweeted support for his former employee Rebekah Brooks on Wednesday, after a story broke that the Metropolitan Police loaned the former News of the World editor a horse.
The Metropolitan Police insist that the 22-year-old horse was not given to Brooks as a gift. Instead, the police say Brooks was a "foster carer" for the animal under a program that allows people to care for service animals and ride them.
Murdoch tweeted, "Now they are complaining about R Brooks saving an old horse from the glue factory!" on Wednesday. A spokesperson for Brooks sang a similar tune and told the Associated Press that it was a "charitable act."
Brooks was the editor of the now-defunct tabloid News of the World when the paper hacked the voicemail of missing school girl Milly Dowler in 2002. The Guardian broke the news of the paper's egregious actions in the summer of 2011, which led the phone hacking scandal spiraling out of control, multiple arrests, and a very serious public outcry against members of Murdoch's media's empire, particularly Brooks.
Brooks resigned from her post as chief executive of News International in July 2011 amidst phone hacking allegations. She was arrested shortly thereafter. The Guardian reported that Murdoch paid her $2.7 million and the use of an office as part of her severance package.
On Wednesday, the Leveson Inquiry investigating press ethics heard testimony that Brooks had learned of phone hacking allegations as early as 2006, after the police tipped her off that there were more than 100 phone hacking victims. James Murdoch resigned as executive chairman of News International, the British arm of News Corp. that oversaw the publication of News of the World and The Sun, the two tabloids at the heart of the phone hacking scandal.