Brooks Denies New Hack Claims

Reuters ; Indigo / Getty Images

Left, Sarah Payne is seen in this undated file picture released by police at the time of her disappearance in July 2000. Right, Rebekah Brooks is shown on March 18, 2010 in Cheltenham, England.

News International is fighting back against Scotland Yard's bombshell announcement that the tabloid may have hacked Sara Payne, the mother of a murdered young girl. A News International spokesman told Sky News that it was "something I'm not aware of at this moment in time,” and insisted that an internal investigation would soon begin. Though News of the World has provided Payne with a phone for the past seven years, former Editor Rebekah Brooks—who resigned recently in the wake of a rash of similar claims—insisted it was "not a personal gift," but rather a means for her to keep in touch with the tabloid about the campaign for Sarah's Law. "These allegations are abhorrent and particularly upsetting as Sara Payne is a dear friend," Brooks said in a statement. "The idea that anyone on the newspaper knew that Sara or the campaign team were targeted by Mr. [Glenn] Mulcaire is unthinkable. The idea of her being targeted is beyond my comprehension."