The decision to charge Rebekah Brooks is extraordinary. She is so close to Rupert Murdoch that some describe her as like a daughter to him. Her husband and four other people who worked for her have also been charged.
Today she said in a statement:
"We deplore this weak and unjust decision."
They are the first to be charged over the phone hacking scandal after a major police investigation was launched last year.
Now Rebekah Brooks faces a potential trial and, if she is found guilty, a jail sentence. It would be a dramatic fall from grace for someone who was once one of the most powerful journalists in Britain, rubbing shoulders with Prime Ministers.
The charge she faces is not directly related to claims of phone hacking or to computer hacking or the alleged police bribes that have been central to the police inquiry.
Instead she is accused of ‘perverting the course of justice’, which essentially means being involved in some kind of cover up.