The Truth About Hugh Grant’s Scandalous Arrest

In 1995, Hugh Grant was a rising superstar. “Four Weddings and a Funeral” had been released the previous year and was a surprise hit — grossing $245 million worldwide, per Box Office Mojo — and introducing much of the U.S. to the floppy-haired Englishman. Grant was in Los Angeles, Calif. doing press for the upcoming release of his next film, “Nine Months,” co-starring Jeff Goldblum and Tom Arnold, and had been out drinking and enjoying dinner on the night of June 26, 1995, when, per The Independent, something happened.

In the wee hours of June 27, Grant hit the iconic Sunset Strip in his BMW and picked up “a 23-year-old sex worker,” per the outlet, named Divine Brown. He turned onto a residential street nearby and parked the car. Nearly immediately, police descended upon the car, and Grant and Brown were arrested for “engaging in an act of lewd conduct,” as was reported at the time. In an era before social media, the scandal hit the press circuit immediately. By the time the world woke up the next morning, Grant’s mugshot was all over the tabloids. Oy. 

How did Grant survive the messy moment? How did he keep getting work immediately afterward … and keep his girlfriend at the time, Elizabeth Hurley? Read on to find out. 

Hugh Grant apologized immediately

Hugh Grant was released hours later on $250 bail, per The Independent, and his publicity team naturally hit the ground running. He released a statement saying, per The New York Times, “I have hurt people I love and embarrassed people I work with. For both things, I am more sorry than I can ever possibly say.” “Nine Months” was too close to release for Grant to lay low until it blew over. Yes; he had to face the proverbial music.

Grant appeared on Jay Leno’s talk show 11 days later, per The Independent. Leno opened the interview by saying, “What the hell were you thinking?” Grant summoned all his British charm saying, “I did a bad thing. … I can see there’s juice in it [the story]. It’s pretty miserable on the other side. … I need to suffer for this.” 

Grant got off with two years probation, a $1000 fine, and participation in a charity program, per the outlet. But why did he do it? Nearly 26 years after his arrest, he told Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast in March he’d just seen “Nine Months,” his first big Hollywood film. “The film was about to come out … and I had a bad feeling about it. I went to see a screening. Everyone in it was brilliant, but I was so atrocious that I was not in a good frame of mind.” Ultimately, he charmed his way out of it! 

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