Hugh Grant testified Monday in a London court against the underhanded tactics of tabloid newspapers, calling the media there the "privacy invasion industry." He said he believes he was the victim of phone hacking not just by the now-defunct News of the World, but by Britain's Mail on Sunday. In over two hours of testimony, Grant described other intrusive incidents, including a mysterious break-in at his apartment and the pursuit of his ex-girlfriend Tinglan Hong, who gave birth to his baby daughter in September.

He says the Mail ran details about his romantic life that could only have come from listening to his voice mails. Grant sued the newspaper for libel and won, although they dispute the hacking allegations. Grant also testified about a break-in to his flat in which nothing was stolen, although detailed descriptions of the apartment later appeared in a tabloid newspaper.

He said paparazzi hounded Hong, the mother of his baby daughter, despite his efforts to keep his paternity secret. "There seems to have been a leak from the hospital," Grant said of the Daily Mail. "They even knew the fake name she had checked into the hospital under."

Last week a judge granted Hong an injunction against photographers after she testified that that the paparazzi had made her life "unbearable." Earlier this month, the Daily Mail ran provocative photos of her that Grant says were purchased from an ex-boyfriend:"There is an ugly spin being put on a lot of this stuff because it sells papers better."

During his testimony, Grant called on UK lawmakers to regulate news organizations who use unethical tactics to violate anyone's privacy, whether they be celebrities or ordinary people. There's "almost no journalism now" in Britain's tabloid press, he said, adding, "It's time this country found the courage to stand up to this bullying."

The actor noted there was a time when he brought the press to his door however, and now says has "no quarrel ... whatsoever" with the hounding he got after being caught with a prostitute in 1995.

[via Deadline, AP]

[Photo: Getty]



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