Hugh Grant was ordered to pay pounds 800 and given two years' probation by a Los Angeles court last night after he admitted committing "lewd conduct" with prostitute Divine Brown in Hollywood two weeks ago.
The 34-year-old actor pleaded "no contest" to the charge. Grant was not present at the hearing which was brought forward by a week at the request of his lawyers.
Grant was ordered to pay a fine and court costs totalling $1,180 (pounds 800) and placed on two years' probation, according to Mike Qualls, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office, last night. One condition of the probation order was that Grant must complete an Aids education programme by 13 November.
Best known for his starring role in last year's romantic comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral, Grant won worldwide attention last month when Los Angeles policemen caught him allegedly receiving oral sex from a prostitute he had picked up on Sunset Boulevard.
The hearing brings to a close an uncomfortable two weeks for Grant. Following his arrest, the state of the actor's nine-year relationship with Estee Lauder model Elizabeth Hurley has been under intense scrutiny by the world's press. Doubts were also cast on his future in Hollywood.
However, in his first television interview since the incident, Grant won over American audiences with a combination of charm and embarrassment. He told viewers on Monday night that he and Miss Hurley were "trying to work it out".The interview, on an American chat show hosted by Jay Leno, was filmed the night before the court hearing and appears to have diverted the attention of the world's media. Had the trial gone ahead at the scheduled time, it would almost certainly have attracted as much attention as the arrest itself.
Grant has another reason to be breathing a sigh of relief today. The 34-year-old actor faced a maximum penalty of six months in prison - although imprisonment is unusual for a first offender.
Miss Brown is due to appear in court on a prostitution charge next week.
"I did a bad thing", page 3
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies