Judge orders press away from Hugh Grant's ex, baby

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2011 8:00 AM
Judge orders press away from Hugh Grant's ex, baby

A British judge has ordered paparazzi to stay away from Hugh Grant's ex, Tinglan Hong, who says she has been harassed and hounded since she had a baby with the actor.

High Court justice Michael Tugendhat said Chinese-born Hong has been followed and photographed outside her London home and feels that "her life has become unbearable."

"She has had to cancel appointments, including ones for her child. She is frightened to drive with her child because the distraction makes it unsafe," the judge said.

He said he had granted an injunction "prohibiting harassment" of Hong and her daughter.

The injunction was granted last week, and Tugendhat outlined his reasons for it on Friday.

Grant's spokeswoman confirmed earlier this month that the actor had recently fathered a child after a brief fling, and he and 31-year-old Hong remain on good terms.

The judge said the pair "did their best to keep private" the fact that they had a child, "and do not know how the information reached the public domain."

Grant, who built a career playing bumbling British charmers, has become a high-profile campaigner against media intrusion into the private lives of celebrities.

He suspects his cell phone voice mail messages were intercepted by the tabloid News of the World, and has called for tighter regulation of the news industry.

The 51-year-old star of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Notting Hill" is due to give evidence to a British inquiry on media intrusion, triggered by the phone-hacking scandal.

Tugendhat said media interest in Hong began well before the baby was born, and included text messages and phone calls from journalists and anonymous callers while she was pregnant.

One, in July, told her to "tell Hugh Grant to shut the (expletive) up'" about phone hacking.

The judge said a front-page article in the now-defunct News of the World in April was headlined "Hugh's Secret Girl" and illustrated with pictures of Hong "to which she had not consented."

"The article speculated on whether she was pregnant, as in fact she was, albeit in the very early stages," the judge said.

Tugendhat said Grant had confronted paparazzi outside Hong's house earlier this month, asking "if there was anything he could do or say to make them leave a new and frightened young mother in peace."

"They said 'show us the baby.' He refused. He asked if they thought it was acceptable for grown men to be harassing and frightening a mother and baby for commercial profit.

"They shrugged and took more pictures."