I haven’t commented on the News of the World phone hacking scandal
mostly because it’s not fun. It’s gross and sad, and I’m happy to see these blood-sucking-maggots go down in flames. But when I came across an article written by Hugh Grant for the New Statesman, I had no choice but to cover it. First, Hugh Grant is on my celebrity-crush list. And second, his coverage is damn entertaining.
Grant discovered his phone had been hacked after a chance meeting with a paparazzo, and he subsequently “bugged the bugger” to get more information. He later admitted to feeling guilty about the covert recording, but I suppose that’s because, unlike the paparazzo in question, Hugh Grant actually has a soul. As it turns out, the paparazzo was Paul McMullan, one of the whistle blowers that ratted on the publication. There are a few wonderful parts of the secret interview executed by Grant. At one point, McMullan confesses that Murdoch might not have known about the hacking, and that Murdoch himself was furious when Hugh Grant’s sexual escapade with Divine Brown ended up on the front page of his paper. Grant quickly explained Murdoch’s outrage, saying, “it’s because it was his [FOX] film I was about to come out in.” Another gem in the interview occurred when McMullan told Grant that he “lives off his image” and he therefore “can’t complain” about the invasion of privacy. Grant then reminded McMullan that people still came to his films after he was arrested with a hooker. “They don’t give a fuck about your public image,” he said. “They just care about whether you’re in an entertaining film or not.”
Since McMullan is so convinced that he’s entitled to invade the private lives of public figures, my favorite part of the interview was when he disclosed the reason for his whistle blowing. Did he grow a conscience later in life after years in the mud pit? Nope. He blew the whistle because, “a friend of [his] at the Guardian kept hassling [him] for an interview,” and he said, “Well if you put the name of the Castle [his pub] on the front page of the Guardian, I’ll do anything you like.” And there you have it. So what have we learned from this story? I think we learned that if hell exists, there’s a few individuals that might have a front-row seat, and Hugh Grant is a very sexy Hollywood bad-ass. Click the link below to see Grant’s full article.
Hugh Grant is a Bad-Ass