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Leveson Inquiry: Hugh Grant Gives Phone Hacking Evidence (Live Updates)

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DOWLER HUGH GRANT
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Actor Hugh Grant has said he suspects newspapers other than the News of the World of phone hacking.

Speaking in the High Court before the Leveson Inquiry on Monday, the actor alleged that an incorrect news story about a supposed relationship with a "plummy voiced" Hollywood producer, published by the Mail On Sunday, was gained through phone hacking.

His public supposition was the first time that the Mail On Sunday has been publicly accused of phone hacking, and remains speculation.

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[FULL WITNESS LINE-UP: SLIDESHOW]

"I was thinking how they could have come up with with this bizarre story," he said.

Grant later sued the Mail On Sunday over the story, and won damages.

In a statement, the Mail on Sunday said they "utterly refutes Hugh Grant's claim that they got any story as a result of phone hacking."

The actor also discussed newspapers gaining access to his medical records, and the "appalling" treatment suffered by a former girlfriend who he said was chased and harassed by paparazzi photographers.

He also said the mother of his child was unable to leave her house for three days because of press intrusion.

Grant described the moment that police came to his house and told him that his details had been discovered in Glenn Mulcaire's notebook. He said that the 'corner notes' on the books were redacted and that he was interested to see who had commissioned the phone hacking. He also alleged that the notes related to stories that ran in the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror.

In a lighter moment Grant received smiles from some lawyers at the court when he gave his full name as "Hugh John Mungo Grant". Less than 10 minutes later the name was trending on Twitter.

Earlier, Milly Dowler's parents spoke about to the press standards inquiry triggered by revelations about the hacking of their murdered daughter's phone.

Sally and Bob Dowler, the first witnesses at the Leveson Inquiry, described their fury when they learned that journalists had listened to and deleted their daughter's voicemail messages.

Sally Dowler described her joyful reaction when she was able to reach her daughter's voicemail, which she thought indicated she might be alive and checking her messages.

In fact messages from her phone had been deleted by private detective Glenn Mulcaire, working for the News of the World.

"I rang her phone and it clicked through on to her voicemail and I just jumped and said: 'She's picked up her voicemails Bob, she's alive'," Dowler said, raising her voice as she remembered the moment.

"When we heard about the hacking that was the first thing I thought ... I told my friends, 'she's picked up her voicemail, she's picked up her voicemail'".

Mulcaire was jailed along with the News of the World's former royal editor, Clive Goodman, in January 2007 after they admitted intercepting voicemail messages left on phones belonging to royal aides.

But Glenn Mulcaire later released a statement saying he “did not delete messages” from the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry will also hear this week from 16 other alleged victims of media intrusion, including actor Hugh Grant, actress Sienna Miller, Harry Potter author JK Rowling and missing Madeleine McCann's father Gerry.

That's the last of the evidence today. The Inquiry will resume at 10am tomorrow.

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@ benfenton : A section of press allowed to become toxic over 20 or 30 years, main tactic is bullying. UK needs to find courage to stand up. #leveson

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Hugh Grant's evidence ends. Waiting to see if more evidence will be given today.

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Grant keen to protect good journalism, to change libel laws but says it is a 'scandal' how tabloids can prey on vulnerable people.

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@ benfenton : Last thing anyone wants is to be in a British tabloid paper. It's a myth we need or want the publicity, #hughgrant tells #leveson

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Grant also rejects tabloids' belief that they're the ones who make films. Grant says no one on the cast of Love, Actually talked to any tabloids but the film was still a massive success.

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Discussion is concerned with celebs basing their fame on their good name. Grant rejects idea that he's traded on his good name, saying: "I've never had a good name."

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http://twitter.com/#!/jamesro47/status/138649046507196417

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Grant puts his faith in Leveson to change media practices: "This is the big opportunity in my opinion, this inquiry."

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The difference between the baby and the bathwater: http://twitter.com/#!/chriscrumble/status/138647715226718209

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Grant rejects idea that you can't improve press without restricting its freedom and how it's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater and you can't get rid of one without the other: "To most people it's bloody obvious which is the baby and which is the bathwater."

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Grant also concerned about 'vulnerable people' who may have been victims of trauma; 'collatoral damage' such as relations and friends of Grant; and innocent people who have been 'monstered' by the press such as the parents of Madeleine McCann.

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Grant has a dig at Amanda Platell, saying her article about him was based on 'lazy reporting'.

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Grant: "My experience was not a positive one with the PCC [in 1994]. I don't have much faith in them."

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Grant's comment on US publicists' dilemma with GB: http://twitter.com/#!/willwrite4cake/status/138642749061742592

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Grant to Jay about Jay being fair to both Grant and Sun journalists: "You've been very fair to News International today. You told me your were going to bowl straight balls. If these are straight, I'd hate to see your googlies."

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Jay: "You refer to two articles in The Sun." Grant: "Do I? What do I say?"

These two are not really getting along well...

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Leveson resumes after short break. Robert Jay QC v Hugh Grant Round Two....

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@ rosschawkins : Hugh Grant at #leveson : Mail paid 125k for pics of mother of his child from ex lover

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Grant rejects Jay query about how the press got informaiton about his visiting the hospital: "Unless my cousin rang up or the parents of the mother, who speak no English, rang up, then I don't know how the press got the information."

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Grant was keen to impress on people that he was not a bad father and that Tinglan was not a 'jilted' girlfriend which was why he allowed the statement to be released.

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"It was not ideal circumstances, I was dressed as a cannibal at the time." Grant talks about how he and his publicist created a press release about the birth of his child whuilst he was filming on location.

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Discussion about how Tinglan Hong and Grant's baby were surrounded by paparazzi in their house and how baby's grandmother took photographs of paps outside and was then 'menaced' by a pap in car.

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Grant discloses how he agreed with Tinglan how he would not visit her and his baby at the hospital because of fears over a press storm.

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Grant talks about police and paps: http://twitter.com/#!/DominicHurst/status/138631776921853952

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Discussion relating to images of the mother of his baby believes there was a leak from the hospital where Tinglan Hong was staying.

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Grant talks about when he was told by the police that his phone might have been hacked for the first time. He recognised names and numbers on documents and information relating to stories about him that appeared in the Mirror and the Mail.

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@ adavies4 : Hugh Grant getting a few laughs now relating his encounter with ex NOTW journo Paul McMullen #Leveson

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Debate between Inquiry and Grant over whether or not the Daily Mail was involved in phone hacking.

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The journalist was Paul McMullen who Grant later recorded disclosing more on tabloid tactics but doesn't want the tape to be played at the hearing, commenting: "I don't want to send Paul McMullen to prison."

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