A wise legal counselor who advises wealthy families suggested to me over lunch today that Rebekah Brooks could find herself in the very same pickle that DeeDee Brooks, the President of Sotheby's, found herself in when the government began its investigation of price fixing in the art world. To ensure she would not be subject to a prison sentence herself, Ms. Brooks decided the only course of action was to explain that she was only following the orders of Sotheby's owner and chairman, billionaire Taubman. The upshot was that Taubman served time and Ms. Brooks did some house duty and public service. She is now involved in pro bono activities on behalf of children, and well out of the dog-eat-dog commercial jungle.
Now comes the raven-haired Brooks, arrested at the police station on Sunday, and facing the need to appear before a Parliamentary committee tomorrow after Robber Baron Murdoch, the throwback to the 19th century empire builders like Jay Drew, August Belmont, the objects of Mathew Josephson's left-leaning spleen. Ms. Brooks has publicly admitted she knew about payments to the police -- which she obviously didn't know were illegal. Later, she tried to take it back.
Murdoch's allegiance to Brooks is obviously heartfelt and it can only be surmised that he possibly knew about the tabloid practices of paying off Scotland Yard, and approved of or accepted this practice as a way of making money and putting the sword to his enemies. If Ms. Brooks faces prosecution for a crime, she may not wish to serve it out, and take the time-honored step of giving up someone higher than herself in order to gain the cooperation of the authorities. Will Ms. Brooks take as her model Ms. Brooks of Sotheby's? We shall see.