We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Tulisa Contostavlos trial thrown out: 'My audition tape was used as 'evidence' that I dealt drugs'

The singer says the experience will “make me stronger”

Tulisa Contostavlos has alleged that Mazher ‘Fake Sheikh’ Mahmood used her audition tapes as evidence that she dealt drugs when she was talking in character as a “bad ghetto girl”.

The trial against the singer, which alleged that she had brokered a drug deal, was thrown out of court today (21 July) after the judge said there were “strong grounds” to believe that the undercover Sun on Sunday reporter had “lied” at a pre-trial hearing.

He has since been suspended by The Sun newspaper, pending an internal investigation.

Contostavlos made a public statement outside Southwark Crown Court, following today’s ruling.

“Let me be perfectly clear, I have never dealt drugs,” she said. “I’ve never been involved with taking or dealing cocaine. This whole case was a horrific and disgusting entrapment by Mahmood and The Sun on Sunday newspaper.

“Mahmood has now been exposed by my lawyers openly lying to the judge and jury. These lies were told to stop crucial evidence going before the jury.”

She claimed: “This evidence showed that I told Mahmood’s long-standing driver that I disapproved of drugs, which is the truth. It is clear that the driver was pressurised to change his statement to strengthen Mahmood’s evidence and damage mine.

“Thankfully, the lies have been uncovered and justice done. This case only happened because the Sun on Sunday, Mahmood and his team tricked me into believing that I was auditioning for a major movie role. They targeted me at a time when things were going badly for me and they had no mercy.

Video: Tulisa trial thrown out

“Mahmood got me and my team completely intoxicated and persuaded me to act the part of a bad ghetto girl. They recorded this and produced it as evidence when I thought it was an audition. It was a terrible thing to do.”

She went on say that with the help of her legal team, she has “succeeded in exposing the real culprit and, most importantly, the real liar” and urged the police and News UK to investigate Mahmood and his team “to put an end to his deceit in pursuit of sensational stories for commercial gain”.

“I have not been able to work for a year and I am now looking forward to resuming my career,” she continued. “I will use my experiences to make me stronger. I would like to thank all the people who have supported me during this ordeal, including my fans and of course my legal team.”