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.

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

Compensation and Benefits Manager - Brentwood - Circa £60,000

£60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Compensation and Benefits Manager - Compensat...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

HR Advisor - North London / North West London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Advisor - North London...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes