Hugh Grant ‘bugs celeb-tapping tabloid journalist’

April 15th, 2011 - 3:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Johnny Depp Sydney, April 15 (ANI): It seems like actor Hugh Grant is on a revenge mission against the UK tabloids.

The ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ star has turned the tables on the English paparazzi by bugging a confessed tabloid phone-hacker.

Grant secretly taped a conversation with former News of the World reporter Paul McMullan and managed to elicit some juicy confessions from the former hack, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

McMullan is one of the whistleblowers in the phone-hacking scandal, which has shamed the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid News of The World and forced News International to issue a public apology to bugged celebrities.

In an article for New Statesman, Grant revealed his revenge mission.

Grant visited McMullan at his Dover pub after a chance encounter with the former News of the World features editor when the actor’s car broke down on a country road.

McMullan had given Grant a lift and during the journey confirmed he had been among the celebrities bugged by News of the World.

Grant decided he wanted to know more and returned with a concealed tape recorder to McMullan’s pub.

During the conversation, McMullan repeated accusations against former News of The World editor Andy Coulson’s knowledge of the nefarious methods used by his reporters, including McMullan himself, to generate stories.

He also said 20 per cent of the Metropolitan police had taken back-handers from tabloid hacks and told Grant celebrities had to expect to lose their right to privacy.

‘I mean, if you don’t like it, you’ve just got to get off the stage. It’ll do wonders,’ he said.

The New Statesman website reportedly crashed as Grant’s article created a stir in England and on Twitter. Stephen Fry tweeted ’sheer class from Hugh Grant. Magnificent.’

During the reported conversation, McMullan spilled the beans on his dealing with various celebrities:

On Johnny Depp

McMullan said it was difficult to snatch a shot of Depp.

‘You know, I was in Venice and he was a nightmare to do because he walks around looking like Michael Jackson. And the punchline was . . . after leading everyone a merry dance the film was shot on an open balcony - I mean, it was like - he was standing there in public,’ he said.

On Nicole Kidman

McMullan told Grant he was sent to find out about Nicole Kidman’s sex life while she was in Cannes for the movie Moulin Rouge!.

‘Basically my brief was to see who Nicole Kidman was shagging - what she was doing, poking through her bins and get some stuff on her,’ he said.

On the Royal Family

McMullan claimed the so-called Squidgy tapes of Princess Diana’s phone conversations were recorded by members of the paparazzi using a digital scanner in the back of van parked outside her residence.

The tapes were originally said to have been recorded by radio hams. Digital scanners were later outlawed. (ANI)

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