LONDON - Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of News Corp's British newspaper unit on Friday, yielding to political and investor pressure over a phone hacking scandal undermining Rupert Murdoch's media empire on both sides of the Atlantic.
The 43-year-old Brooks, a former editor of the scandal-hit News of the World newspaper and of the flagship tabloid the Sun, was a close confidante of Murdoch, who had signaled her importance to him when he flew into London to manage the crisis at the News International subsidiary.
The public disgust that erupted over reports that one of News Corp's newspapers had hacked into the voicemails of murder victims has so far forced Murdoch to shut down the News of the World and pull a $12-billion bid to buy the shares he does not own in British satellite broadcaster BSkyB .
Murdoch, 80, long courted by Britain's political elite, faces a showdown with parliament on Tuesday when lawmakers on the media committee grill him, his son James, 38, as well as Brooks to find out more about the phone hacking practices.
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