News Column

Hugh Grant Basks In Telephone Hacking Scandal

July 20, 2011
Hugh Grant
Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant says his secret recording of a conversation about telephone hacking with a former reporter from Britain's News of the World was fair play.

Grant said he learned about the extent of the newspaper's snooping from Paul MacMullen, who allegedly admitted to Grant that the actor's phone had been hacked by his former News of the World colleagues.

"When he started boasting about how they'd been tapping my phone and everyone's phone, and what a close relationship they'd enjoyed with the police and the government, I was so appalled that I did go back a few months later and I got him doing it again over a few drinks," Grant told Entertainment Weekly.

Grant's relationship with MacMullen began six years ago when the actor's car broke down. MacMullen, who was by then working with paparazzi, gave Grant a lift and spilled the beans that the News of the World had been eavesdropping on him.

The transcript of the later conversation in which MacMullen provides details about the extent of the alleged hacking was published recently in the British magazine New Statesman.

"It felt like symmetry for sure," Grant told Entertainment Weekly. "You know, they hacked me, I hacked him."

Grant said authorities at the time were not interested in his revelations, which he said made the current uproar over the News of the World seem a bit "absurd."

Source: Copyright United Press International 2011

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