Ex-Murdoch aide Brooks expecting baby by surrogate: PR

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Former News International boss Rebekah Brooks, a key figure in Britain's phone hacking row, is expecting a baby girl in February via a surrogate mother, her spokesman said Thursday.

The flame-haired Brooks, 43, and her husband, racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, were originally expecting twins with the surrogate but one of the babies died, sources close to Brooks added.

"Charlie and Rebekah Brooks are delighted to confirm they are to become parents of a baby girl early in 2012," they said in a statement released to AFP by her spokesman David Wilson.

"They have been trying to start a family since becoming a couple and for more than two years consulted fertility experts. It is currently being carried by a surrogate mother and is due in February."

A source close to Brooks confirmed that the baby is one of twins, and that the other twin died early in the pregnancy, adding that the couple wanted to make sure the surviving baby was safe before announcing the pregnancy.

The source said the surrogate mother did not wish to be identified.

Wilson said: "Charlie and Rebekah are overjoyed.

"Whilst the pregnancy was not without its difficulties and sadness, Charlie and Rebekah are obviously hopeful for a very happy ending to almost five years of trying to conceive themselves."

Brooks resigned as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News International as the scandal over voicemail hacking at the News of the World tabloid exploded in July. She was a former editor of the newspaper.

Days later she was arrested and questioned by police on suspicion of phone-hacking and bribing police, and later bailed.

© 2011 AFP

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