In an intriguing twist to the upcoming trial of former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson on hacking and conspiracy charges, Gawker has reported that during the discovery process, emails were uncovered that suggested that Brooks was involved in an intimate relationship “at various times” with Coulson, her boss Rupert Murdoch — and Murdoch’s son Lachlan Murdoch.
A spokesman for the Murdoch family denied the rumors, although lawyers for Brooks and Coulson did not respond to Gawker’s requests for comment.
Rumors of an affair between Brooks and Coulson have been circulating the internet since June when a “vague” report in The Daily Mail teased readers with the prospect of a “dynamite” sex scandal — even prompting British PM David Cameron to hold “crisis talks” amongst his staff.
With the addition of Murdoch and his son as intimate partners of Brooks, Gawker has affirmed that the sources of the rumors have direct contact with lawyers involved in the case:
Whether the rumor is true or not, it is definitely circulating widely at high levels in the company. Three sources shared the claim of a sexual relationship with Brook and Rupert Murdoch with Gawker; all three said they had learned the information through lawyers involved in the case. Two of those three sources are high-ranking executives at News Corp. The latter two sources had also both been told of a relationship between Lachlan and Brooks.
According to Gawker’s sources, the emails are expected to be used as evidence in the trial.