Fake Sheikh: Tulisa may sue over ‘Fake Sheikh’ sting after drugs trial collapses

The journalist, who works for The Sun on Sunday, has been suspended pending further investigation

Media Editor

Scotland Yard and prosecutors are in talks about whether to launch a criminal investigation into Mazher Mahmood, the so-called “Fake Sheikh”, as lawyers for singer Tulisa Contostavlos discuss suing the publishers of The Sun on Sunday in both America and Britain over the reputational damage caused by her collapsed drugs trial.

The developments follow a judge’s decision to call off the prosecution of the singer because there were “strong grounds” to believe the reporter lied in court and manipulated evidence.

Mr Mahmood has been suspended by Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, pending an internal investigation, and could be investigated for perjury and perversion of the course of justice.

Jonathan Shalit, the singer’s manager, said lawyers in both the UK and the US were being consulted on potential action for damages against Mr Mahmood and News UK after his sting on Ms Contostavlos in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, where she was offered a possible role in a Hollywood film.

“This entrapment started in America and we are taking advice from lawyers in the UK and the US,” he said. “Tulisa has been massively wronged and the emotional, physical and financial consequences of what Mazher Mahmood did are beyond quantifiable.” He said he told News UK that Mr Mahmood’s claims amounted to a “crock of lies” but “The Sun supported him”.

Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial (PA) Former N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos gives a statement outside Southwark Crown Court after her trial (PA)
The Crown Prosecution Service is thought to be examining evidence in existing and forthcoming criminal cases involving Mr Mahmood, after the collapse of the trial. 

One case involves the socialite and PR man Leon “Starino” Anderson, 27, who faces drugs charges following a sting in a Mayfair restaurant by Mr Mahmood last year.

Anderson, from south-west London, is co-charged with his nephew Ashley Gordon, 22, from Romford, who appeared for a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court in May. Mr Anderson did not attend that hearing because he was delayed flying home.

The Sun on Sunday published an article on 12 May 2013 alleging “Stars’ Mr Fixit Is Drug Dealer”, claiming Anderson was friends with a host of “unsuspecting celebrities”, including pop singers Rihanna and Chris Brown and Premier League footballers.

Mr Mahmood has claimed more than 250 criminal convictions as a result of his investigative journalism, which often involves dressing in Arab robes. His employer told the Leveson inquiry the true total was 94.

Some may now challenge their convictions after Judge Alistair McCreath questioned Mr Mahmood’s credibility as a witness. He called off the Contostavlos trial and freed her friend Michael Coombs, who had earlier pleaded guilty  to supplying cocaine.

The judge said the reporter – who sometimes uses a limousine when working undercover – had given contradictory evidence about a conversation between Ms Contostavlos and the journalist’s driver, Alan Smith.

Ben Rose, of London solicitors Hickman and Rose, told The Independent he thought the CPS might have to conduct a “backward-looking exercise” into previous cases linked to evidence from Mr Mahmood.

He said that a number of people who had been prosecuted and convicted as a result of evidence given by Mazher Mahmood had already been in contact with him.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee