Divine end to Grant trauma

Los Angeles - It was a Hollywood ending to a Hollywood scandal: everyone lived happily ever after.

A year after Hugh Grant was arrested while engaging in oral sex with a prostitute on Sunset Boulevard, the scandal appears forgotten as both his career and his popularity soar. His life with his long-time girlfriend, the model and actress Liz Hurley, also seems to have weathered the storm that at one time threatened to end their relationship. And the prostitute who was caught with him, Divine Brown, used her new-found fame to build a career of her own as the star of sexually explicit films, including one about her brief encounter with Grant which its producers called a "Doc-Hugh-Drama".

The boyishly handsome star of Four Weddings and a Funeral was arrested in his car with Brown on 27 June last year, after vice squad officers spotted them engaging in sex. As the shock waves spread from Los Angeles to London, some in the industry predicted the scandal would ruin his career, if not his relationship with Hurley.

But Michael Levine, a publicist considered one of Hollywood's top crisis management experts, disagreed, saying at the time that Grant's apology on NBC's Tonight Show and other televised mea culpas would be his salvation. Appearing on CNN's Larry King Live show, the 35-year-old Grant said he did not have any excuses, admitting: "In the end you have to come clean and say it was disloyal and shabby and selfish."

"The way he handled the whole crisis was exactly right," said Mr Levine, who has represented such scandal-plagued celebrities as the rock star Michael Jackson. "He was humble, he took full responsibility, he followed a kind of textbook example of what to do when you get yourself in trouble. I said at the time that if he did that then he would emerge unscathed. He was right, and so was I."

On 11 July, the same day that he pleaded "no contest" to charges of having sex with Brown, Grant appeared with Hurley at the Hollywood premiere of his film, Nine Months. His forgiving public in the US and Britain made it a box office success. Grant was subsequently fined $1,800 and ordered to take a course on the danger of Aids. Brown's brief encounter with the star cost her $1,350 and a jail term of 180 days.

Since then Grant's career has gone from strength to strength. He and Hurley are co-producing as well as acting in the Castle Rock pictures medical drama, Extreme Measures, which is completing filming and made a splash at the Cannes film festival in May. Grant also starred in Restoration, based on the life of King Charles II, and Sense and Sensibility, which won a screen-writing Oscar for his co-star, Emma Thompson. Following the success of Nine Months, his fee is reputed to have gone up from $6m a film to $10m.

A recent international survey of women voted Grant one of the world's sexiest men, ranking fourth behind Mel Gibson, Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood.

In Britain, a magazine survey found him the most sought-after male as a lover by young women between 15 and 24, and he was the second most desirable husband among all women respondents.

Brown, meanwhile, has appeared on TV talk shows in America and Britain, advertised lingerie for a Brazilian company, launched an erotic station on British cable TV and made a number of pornographic movies, the first of which was the tale of her tryst with Grant, with another actor playing him.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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 General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own