Mother of Hugh Grant's baby gets anti-press injunction
A British judge said Friday he had granted an injunction ordering paparazzi to stay away from the Chinese mother of actor Hugh Grant's baby because she was suffering "unbearable" harassment.
High Court judge Michael Tugendhat issued the legal order for actress Hong Tinglan and the child in London a week ago against unnamed photographers, and was setting out his reasons in an official judgment.
He said Hong -- who was revealed to be the mother of the "Four Weddings and a Funeral" star's first child earlier this month -- had complained "that since the birth of her child her life has become unbearable."
"She cannot leave her home without being followed and there are constantly photographers waiting outside her home," the judge said, adding that she had been "unable to look after her daughter in a normal way."
"(She) has not been able to take her daughter outside. 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."
She was also followed while visiting the doctor, he said, and was forced to change her mobile phone number because of calls and text messages from journalists.
The judge concluded that it was "necessary and proportionate to grant the injunction sought".
The order was granted against the "person or persons responsible for taking photographs outside their home and in the street during November 2011," and issued to Tinglan and the child, identified only as KLM.
Grant, 51, announced through his publicist on November 1 that he had become a father for the first time but did not reveal the identity of the mother, saying only that they had a "fleeting affair".
The judge said Hong had first featured in an article in the now-defunct News of the World newspaper in April, showing pictures that were taken in January, but interest in her escalated with speculation about her pregnancy.
He added that Hong was a victim of a backlash against Grant, who spoke out about the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World after he alleged his voicemails were intercepted by the paper.
The judge said Hong had received a number of phone calls, including one when the caller said: "Tell Hugh Grant to shut the fuck up."
Grant is due to give evidence on Monday to an inquiry into phone-hacking and the ethics of the British press, which opened this week.
Also speaking at the inquiry will be the parents of murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, whose voicemails by the News of the World in a case that caused the hacking scandal to erupt.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the "Harry Potter" novels, and actress Sienna Miller are due to give evidence on Thursday.
The inquiry by a six-strong panel chaired by judge Brian Leveson was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron in July. News of the injunction obtained by Hong first emerged at the inquiry on Wednesday.
© 2011 AFP