Rupert Murdoch to rehire editor acquitted in phone-hacking scandal
CEO and founder of News Corporation Rupert Murdoch (AFP)

Rebekah Brooks is close to being rehired by Rupert Murdoch in a permanent position heading up his search for new online investments.

Brooks, who was cleared of being involved in a phone-hacking plot last summer, has taken an apartment in New York and moved from Oxfordshire with her husband Charlie and their daughter, Scarlett.

It is understood her husband, who was also acquitted of charges linked to Brooks’s arrest, is hoping to relaunch his career in the horse-racing business in the US.

Brooks’s return to Murdoch’s side follows eight months out of the public eye following her acquittal last June. She was found not guilty of charges related to the police investigation into hacking at the News of the World and payments to public officials at the Sun.

In an emotional statement after the verdict Brooks said she felt vindicated by the unanimous verdicts, repeating that she was innocent of the crimes with which she had been charged.

Her husband accused police of treating Brooks like a terrorist and said the nightmare of the arrest, charge, and ordeal had stripped her, in her early 40s, of a lifetime career.

It emerged during the hacking trial that Brooks struck a severance deal of £16.1m in compensation for future loss of earnings.

Related: Phone-hacking trial: total legal costs approach £100m

Despite her acquittal, it was widely agreed it was near impossible for her to return to work at Murdoch’s British publishing empire, where she had been chief executive.

This was partly because the company was still the centre of an investigation with 18 current or former Sun journalists so far taken to court over allegations that they requested or authorised payments to public officials for stories.

While a job in the UK was out of the question, friends said Brooks was never going to fade into the shadows. Murdoch remained loyal to her throughout the trial, often phoning her to give his support.

Brooks was first spotted in Murdoch’s New York headquarters in October and last month was spotted with a large Murdoch delegation at at the recent Consumer Electronics Show tech trade fair in Las Vegas.

One source said that a deal had yet to be signed, but it was imminent. “She is catching up and learning the ropes of the business after three years concentrating on clearing her name.”

News Corp declined to comment. © Guardian News and Media 2015