Tuesday, May 26, 2015Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Britain's tabloid 'paid $528,000' for Hugh Grant prostitute scoop

Published on Feb 20, 2014 10:16 PM

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's News of the World tabloid paid out £250,000 (S$528,000) for an exclusive interview with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown after she was caught performing oral sex on actor Hugh Grant, the phone-hacking trial heard on Thursday.

Rebekah Brooks, a former editor and executive at the Rupert Murdoch-owned title, said Ms Brown was paid around £100,000 but large sums were also spent moving her and her family to a desert hideout to stop other papers stealing the 1995 scoop.

"It was probably one of the biggest expenses that I had ever dealt with. It was a lot of money," said Brooks, who was features editor of the News of the World at the time, of the £250,000.

Brooks, 45, was giving testimony at her trial at London's Old Bailey court on charges of phone hacking, paying a public official for information and trying to conceal evidence from the police.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!