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Hugh Grant: I tried to reason with paparazzi

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN
December 5, 2011 -- Updated 1639 GMT (0039 HKT)
Actor Hugh Grant was among celebrities giving evidence to lawmakers over allegations of press intrusions
Actor Hugh Grant was among celebrities giving evidence to lawmakers over allegations of press intrusions
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The actor says he tried to shame press photographers but they ignored him
  • Former motor racing boss Max Mosley says you have to risk a million pounds to get justice
  • Lawmakers are looking into press ethics in the wake of the News of the World scandal
  • Police and an independent inquiry are also looking into press activity

London (CNN) -- Actor Hugh Grant tried to persuade photographers stalking the mother of his child to leave her alone, but they just said: "Show us the baby," he told British lawmakers Monday.

"Do you really think this is a way for grown men to be behaving?" he said he had asked paparazzi staked out at the home of the woman, but they ignored him.

Grant was part of a panel of celebrities testifying before lawmakers examining press ethics amid scandals about phone hacking and police bribery by journalists.

Comic Steve Coogan and former motor racing boss Max Mosley were also on the panel, alongside member of Parliament Zac Goldsmith.

The witnesses were asked how much it cost to fight newspapers

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"You've got to risk a million pounds to get justice," said Mosley, who successfully sued the now-defunct News of the World tabloid for libel.

Coogan said it had cost him 15,000 to 20,000 pounds ($23,500 to $31,400) to have lawyers get a court order to keep a newspaper from publishing a story about one of his relatives, and he said he had spent "over 200,000 pounds" over the hacking of his phone by journalists.

Mosley also talked about the difference between defamation and invasion of privacy.

Mosley sued the News of the World after it ran a front-page article claiming he had organized a Nazi-themed orgy with multiple prostitutes. A court found in his favor, saying there was no Nazi element to the event.

"If the News of the World had been forced to run a front-page picture with the statement 'Actually, this was a private orgy,' it wouldn't have done me much good," he said to laughter.

The hearing is separate from a government-backed inquiry into press ethics.

The Leveson Inquiry was set up in response to outrage at revelations of the scale of illegal eavesdropping and police bribery on behalf of News of the World, which was shut down in July over the scandal.

Police are separately investigating phone hacking, computer hacking and bribery.

They say that about 5,800 people, including celebrities, crime victims, politicians and members of the royal family, were targets of the practice by journalists in search of stories.

Phone hacking involves illegally eavesdropping on voice mail by entering a PIN to access messages remotely.

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