Brooks left News Corp. in July 2011 in the wake of the phone hacking scandal that erupted when it was learned reporters hacked voice mail messages of an abducted schoolgirl.
It was found out later that the girl, who was British, had been murdered.
At the time the phone hacking occurred Brooks was the editor of News of the World, the tabloid that was shut down due to the scandal. At the time the phone hacking was discovered, she was the CEO of all of News Corp.'s British publications.
The Wall Street Journal reported that a source confirmed that the unnamed company director listed as having received $17.5 million "for loss of office," was Brooks.
The severance package includes compensation for all legal fees and, thus, may grow further. Brooks has been charged with conspiracy to intercept communications, conspiracy to pervert justice and conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office.
"I did not authorize, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship," Brooks has said.
She has denied the first two charges, but not responded to the third in public, the Journal said.