Between FX’s documentary Framing Britney Spears and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, people are finally coming to terms with the long-term harm caused by the tabloid press and paparazzi. Celebrities are people, too—nobody deserves to be stalked and harassed. And this behavior from tabloids isn’t limited to just targeting women. As we learned on the latest episode of WTF With Marc Maron, U.K. gossip rags subjected Hugh Grant to some horrific stuff at the beginning of his career.
Maron brought up in the interview that he’d heard British tabloids were somehow worse than U.S. ones, and Grant mentioned that, funnily enough, he’d recently found out that tabloids didn’t just bug his cellphone to get access to text messages—they also bugged his landline. “For years and years they were listening, and my medical records [were stolen] and my car had bugs put in it so they knew where I was,” he said. “A lot of the guys who did this work—private investigators hired by tabloid newspapers—are now coming over to our side,” Gramt said, alluding to Hacked Off, the “campaign for a free and accountable press” he joined in the wake of the News Corp. phone hacking scandal in 2011. “They’re now so pissed off that the editors, senior executives, and owners of these newspapers have got away scot-free while some of these ‘foot soldiers’ have gone to jail. They’re now coming over to our side and spilling the beans. Apart from it being sort of fascinating and horrific, it’s also quite heartwarming and weird in a way.”
He also said he hosts a birthday party every year with Hacked Off, and the group loves to invite “people who’ve done terrible things to” Grant—like the person who snooped around his apartment after busting its door off the hinges. “So they love to say at these parties, ‘Now, Hugh, I don’t think you’ve met Knobby, he broke into your flat in 1999,’ and I have to go ‘Oh, hi Knob, welcome. I think you know where everything is.’” Good on him for having a sense of humor about it—but yikes, we probably wouldn’t be as nice.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]