Rebekah Brooks has declared she is not guilty of phone hacking.
The former News International chief executive said she was "distressed and angry" at the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to charge her.
Mrs Brooks, a former editor of the News of the World, said the charge concerning murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was "particularly upsetting".
Mrs Brooks is among eight people who will face charges relating to phone hacking, the CPS announced today.
Charges against her include one relating to allegedly accessing the voicemails of Milly Dowler, as well as those of former trade union boss Andrew Gilchrist.
In a statement, she said: "I am not guilty of these charges. I did not authorise, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship.
"I am distressed and angry that the CPS have reached this decision when they knew all the facts and were in a position to stop the case at this stage.
"The charge concerning Milly Dowler is particularly upsetting not only as it is untrue but also because I have spent my journalistic career campaigning for victims of crime.
"I will vigorously defend these allegations."