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Rebekah Brooks Says She Is 'Vindicated' By Acquittal In Phone Hacking Trial

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Rebekah Brooks told a crowd of journalists on Thursday that she feels "vindicated" and "grateful" to the jury that acquitted her of a string of charges related to the phone hacking scandal.

Brooks spoke outside her home. Her husband Charlie, who was also acquitted in the trial, stood next to her.

"I am innocent of the crimes that I was charged with and I feel vindicated by the unanimous verdicts," she said.

Brooks was declared not guilty on all charges in the trial, which was one of the longest and costliest in British history. Jurors decided that she had not played any role in the hacking and corruption scandals which engulfed Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire. They were not so kind to her fellow former editor Andy Coulson, who was found guilty on one count of conspiring to hack phones.

Brooks did not mention Coulson, with whom she had an affair during their time working together on the News of the World, by name in her remarks. But she told the raucous crowd, "Today my thoughts are with my former colleagues I'm going to do everything I can to support them."

One journalist asked for her thoughts about the rampant criminality that had taken place at the newspapers she oversaw. Brooks said that she had undergone much "reflection" on this point, but added that she was "incredibly proud" of many of the people she'd worked with.

There has been a great deal of speculation about what Brooks will do now that the cloud of the trial has been lifted. Many have guessed that she will return to Murdoch's empire in some way. He bankrolled her legal defense and remained fiercely loyal to her throughout her years-long ordeal. Brooks made no comment about her future.