Charlie Brooks (racehorse trainer)
Charles Patrick Evelyn "Charlie" Brooks (born 3 March 1963) is a British socialite, newspaper columnist, racehorse trainer and former jockey. He is best known as the husband of Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International. The couple are seen as leading lights of the so-called 'Chipping Norton set', a politically influential clique close to the leadership of the Conservative Party. On 15 May 2012, Brooks and his wife were charged with perverting the course of justice.
Brooks was born Charles Patrick Evelyn Brooks on 3 March 1963 in Chipping Norton, the third and youngest child of Robert Noel Brand Brooks and Caroline Diana (Todd). His father died when he was 12. Educated at Eton College, where he was a friend of future Prime Minister David Cameron, Brooks became an amateur jockey and assistant racehorse trainer to Fred Winter. In 1987 he won the Christie's Foxhunter Chase on Observe, and in 1989 he took over the Uplands stables at Lambourn from Winter.
Among Brooks's successes as a trainer were Suny Bay, runner-up in the 1997 and 1998 Grand Nationals, and Couldn't be Better, winner of the 1995 Hennessy Gold Cup. At the end of the 1998 season he resigned after a dispute with owner Andrew Cohen.
After a break of more than thirteen years, Brooks was reinstated as a licensed trainer in late 2011.
Phone hacking controversy
During 2011 and 2012 Brooks became drawn into the controversy over phone-hacking by Rupert Murdoch's News International. In July 2011, two computers belonging to Charlie Brooks were found by a cleaner in an underground car park at his Chelsea Harbour home. Brooks tried to reclaim the computers but they were taken away by police, and the mystery has yet to be resolved.
On 13 March 2012 Charlie and Rebekah Brooks were arrested in a dawn raid at their home, on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They were charged with perverting the course of justice in May 2012.
Charlie and Rebekah Brooks appeared in court at the Old Bailey on 26 September 2012. Rebekah Brooks faced three charges and Charlie Brooks one charge of conspiring to pervert the course of justice by concealing material from police officers. Their trial started in October 2013.
In 2004 Brooks split from his long-term partner Miriam Francome (former wife of champion jockey John Francome) after twelve years. He married Rebekah Wade, then editor of The Sun, in June 2009. The wedding was attended by then Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and future Prime Minister David Cameron, who is a close personal friend of the couple. In January 2012 Charlie and Rebekah Brooks became parents via a surrogate mother.
- "Profile: Rebekah and Charlie Brooks". The Daily Telegraph (London). 13 March 2012.
- "Phone hacking: Rebekah Brooks charged with perverting course of justice". The Daily Telegraph (London). 15 May 2012.
- Masters, Rodney (17 June 1998). "Weighty burden was too much.". The Racing Post. Farlex. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
- Daily Record, 5 July 2003
- Daily Mirror, 25 April 1998
- "Police seek computer passwords of Rebekah Brooks's husband" The Guardian, 22 July 2011
- "Phone-hacking police charge Rebekah Brooks". BBC News. 15 May 2012.
- Kay, Richard (5 May 2004). "It's the end for racing's golden couple". Daily Mail (London).
- "Untangling Rebekah Brooks" Vanity Fair, February 2012
- "Ex-NoW boss Rebekah Brooks becomes parent by surrogate" BBC News, 26 January 2012