Hugh Grant Refuses To Withdraw Mail On Sunday Phone Hacking Claim (AUDIO)
Hugh Grant has said he will "absolutely not" withdraw his claim that the Mail on Sunday obtained information about his private life for an article through phone hacking.
The actor had alleged in November in evidence to the Leveson inquiry into the media 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.
In a statement at the time, the Mail on Sunday said it "utterly refutes Hugh Grant's claim that they got any story as a result of phone hacking."
On Thursday, Mail group editor Paul Dacre said he would not withdraw his claim Grant made "mendacious smears" against the Mail on Sunday, unless the actor withdrew his own suggestions that the group had been involved in phone hacking.
Speaking on Saturday morning, the actor said he would "absolutely not" withdraw.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I can see why they're cross because for once, someone has had the courage to question their probity and their honesty and, generally speaking, if anyone does that with a paper like the Daily Mail, however much they may go on about freedom of speech, no one is allowed the freedom of speech to question the Daily Mail. If you do, you will be trashed and that's what's happened again and again and again to me and to anyone else who has dared to question the Daily Mail. "
Dacre has strongly denied the claims, telling the Leveson inquiry: "All my inquiries, all the evidence that I have received and having spoken to the editors of my group, our group did not hack phones and I rather resent your continued insinuations that we did.
"I am satisfied that legitimate journalistic methods were used to obtain the source for the basis of these three paragraphs."