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Rebekah Brooks in New York 'explores' job opportunities

Former News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks makes a statement to the media in London June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

(Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, the former head of News Corp's (NWSA.O) British newspaper division who was at the center of a phone hacking scandal, is visiting New York this week, exploring possible jobs, a company spokesman said on Friday.

A protege of Murdoch, Brooks has been in meetings at News Corp's (NWSA.O) headquarters, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, and elsewhere exploring job possibilities, according to the spokesman.

"She and her family are here in the United States for a visit, reconnecting with friends and meeting with businesses as she explores and considers her professional future," said the spokesman.

Brooks soared through the ranks at News Corp from a junior newsroom position to become chief executive officer of News International, the British publisher of The Sun and The Times, before stepping down in 2011 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal

Brooks stood trial in London this summer for illegal conspiracy to hack into phones and authorizing illegal payments to public officials. A jury found her not guilty.

The news of her trip to New York was first reported by Capital New York.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)