Next paparazzo to target Grant's daughter could go to prison


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The Independent Online

The mother of Hugh Grant's baby daughter was yesterday granted an anti-harassment order against paparazzi who have besieged her home since the child's birth.

Lawyers acting for Tinglan Hong won the order from London High Court judge Mr Justice Tugendhat, who issued a ruling which means that photographers who continue to approach Ms Hong or her home will face a fine or possible imprisonment.

Mr Grant has become the face of Hacked Off, a campaign against tabloid intrusion, and news of the injunction emerged only days before Monday's opening sessions of Mr Justice Leveson's inquiry into media standards.

It is understood that a five-page injunction bans photographers from taking pictures of Ms Hong, a Chinese actress, when she is at home or with family and friends or in any private building. It also forbids paparazzi from taking pictures of her when following her in the street.

The injunction is said to have introduced a 100-yard exclusion zone for photographers around Ms Hong's London home. The severity of the restrictions is said to reflect the degree of harassment which Ms Hong has suffered since her relationship with the actor became known.

Interest has intensified since the birth of the 51-year-old actor's first child was announced earlier this month. Mr Grant has already felt the need to deploy security guards to give Ms Hong, 31, and his daughter greater protection.

The actor has been an outspoken critic of tabloid behaviour and has spoken on news programmes of a "culture of privacy intrusion" in the popular press. He is one of 46 alleged victims of phone hacking who will give evidence to the Leveson inquiry.

In his role with Hacked Off he has lobbied the Prime Minister to introduce legislation to curb tabloid excesses and taken his campaign to the conferences of all three main political parties. In an article for the New Statesman magazine, Grant secretly recorded a former journalist from the News of the World talking about the newspaper's involvement in phone hacking.

In turn, some newspapers have been determined to question the actor's own moral standards and paint him as a hypocrite. When news of the child's birth emerged, Mr Grant's publicist issued a statement saying: "I can confirm that Hugh Grant is the delighted father of a baby girl. He and the mother had a fleeting affair and while this was not planned, Hugh could not be happier or more supportive."

But the news prompted a rash of salacious tabloid stories about Grant's personal life. Yesterday Mr Justice Tugendhat agreed that security guards were insufficient to protect the child and her mother.