Hugh Grant considers legal action after seeing 'phone-hacking evidence'

Hugh Grant said yesterday that an officer from Scotland Yard's Operation Weeting team investigating phone-hacking by the News of the World had visited him and shown him evidence of how he and his family had been targeted by the tabloid newspaper.

The actor said he was considering legal action against the paper, which is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp publishing empire. Speaking to the BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Richard Bacon, who was recording his show in the newsroom of The Independent, Grant said the Metropolitan police officer had led him to believe that "big heads will roll soon" at Murdoch's company.

He said he had been shown "the evidence; all these notes with my PIN numbers, my phone numbers, my friends', my family's phone numbers, PIN numbers, bank accounts, all written down by a private detective working for a paper". He said he believed the new investigation team were "hot on the criminal case" and that he found the development "exciting".

Days after actress Sienna Miller received £100,000 from the News of the World, following the paper's admission that it hacked her mobile phone, Grant said he had not yet decided whether to issue civil proceedings but that he was considering doing so.

The actor attacked tabloid newspapers, expressing the view that they were unnecessary and that he hoped they would be shut down. "I could list you hundreds of high-profile people in this country who feel the same way. We don't need them, we don't want them and as soon as they go out of business the better," he said.

"The tabloid press is completely unnecessary – at least in my industry – to what you do. You need to make a good film, that's 97 per cent of it; then about 2 per cent of it is having good advertising materials, good trailer etc and then right on the end make a bit of noise with publicity if you can. But almost no one will talk to the tabloids. They'll usually do it through radio or television or the internet."

He accused newspapers of "stealing someone's most precious commodity for profit" by invading their privacy and maintained: "There's nothing to do with public interest – it's purely to do with money."

The failure to rein in the intrusions of the tabloid press, he went on, provided a justification for the controversial super-injunctions. "Injunctions... are at least to be welcomed because something's being done," he said.

Grant, 50, also revealed that he had largely left the acting world. He said: "One of the reasons I feel so brave about speaking out now is I am pretty much retired." He said that if he were to win a libel case against one of the tabloids he would want the punishment meted out to the paper to be a ban on publishing anything more about him.

"So little do I need the tabloid press that if I won a libel case against a tabloid paper now I would not want cash; I would want an assurance that they would never ever mention my name again." he said.

Mr Grant said that a privacy law was required in Britain because of the decline in ethical standards of the tabloid press. "There are no ethics any more, there's only one motive and that's profit." He said that he valued privacy injunctions because, although they were "imperfect" and could be circumnavigated by online media, "at least something is being done".

News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to US
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday

Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way

News

Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls

Arts and Entertainment
film

Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online

Extras
indybest
Life and Style
CHARGE BOOSTER: Aeroplane mode doesn't sound very exciting, but it can be a (phone) hacker's friend. Turning on the option while charging your mobile will increase the speed at which your phone battery charges
techNew book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
art
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
News
Let’s pretend: KidZania in Tokyo
educationKidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day
News
i100
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?