Hugh Grant, actor, 21.11.11: 'The Mail on Sunday ran an article in February 2007 saying that my relationship with my then girlfriend, Jemima Khan, was on the rocks because of my persistent late-night flirtatious phonecalls with a plummy-voiced studio executive from Warner Brothers, and it was a bizarre story, completely untrue, that I sued for libel over and won and damages were awarded, a statement was made in open court.
But thinking about how they could possibly come up with such a bizarre left-field story, I realised that although there was no plummy-voiced studio executive from Warner Brothers with whom I'd had any kind of relationship, flirtatious or otherwise, there was a great friend of mine in Los Angeles who runs a production company which is associated with Warner Brothers and whose assistant is a charming married middle-aged lady, English, who, as happens in Hollywood, is the person who rings you. The executive never rings you. It's always their assistant: "Hi, we have Jack on the phone for you." And this is what she used to do. She used to call and she used to leave messages and because she was a nice English girl in LA, sometimes when we spoke, we'd have a chat about English stuff, Marmite or whatever.
So she would leave charming, jokey messages saying, "Please call this studio executive back", and she has a voice that could only be described as plummy. So I cannot for the life of me think of any conceivable source for this story in the Mail on Sunday except those voice messages on my mobile telephone.
(Grant agreed this was his speculation. Mail strongly denies any phone hacking and says the information had come from a freelance journalist, adding: ‘Mr Grant’s allegations are mendacious smears driven by his hatred of the media.’)