"I was just trying to pay a few bills that night. Lo and behold I got a celebrity. I’d agreed to go with him for $50, but ended up with more than ten thousand times that," the sex worker later said, about that night.
After eight long years of being in what seemed to be an inseparable relationship, Hugh Grant cheated on actress and model, Liz Hurley in what became one of the most famous celebrity scandals in the past few decades.
Back in 1995, when Grant was enjoying the acclaim he got for his role in Four Weddings and a Funeral, the actor was arrested when he was in Hollywood for the promotion of his film, Nine Months, as reported by The Guardian. When police officers caught the Hollywood heartthrob, they found him participating in "lewd conduct" with a sex worker in a public place.
Grant instantly become the hot-topic of tabloids and celebrity gossip columns, and a local paper reported that the British actor had decided "to take a walk on the wild side" while in Hollywood, before winding up in a mess. On the night of his arrest, Grant was cruising through Sunset Strip in LA and met a sex worker who called herself Divine Brown, but her real name was Estella Marie Thompson. The two of them struck a deal and Grant agreed to pay her money in return for oral sex in a street close by, but the police caught them. Within no time, Grant was posing in front of the camera for a sheepish mugshot.
"Last night I did something completely insane," Grant said, in a statement. "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."
The run-in that Grant had with the law also led to Divine Brown being widely sought after by the media. When she later gave interviews and revealed her account of the incident, she claimed that the actor told her, "I always wanted to sleep with a black woman. That’s my fantasy."
To my dear trolls. Hope this is helpful. Now you have more time to spend with mummy. pic.twitter.com/FbbyC286cZ— Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) December 5, 2019
With her life taking a completely different turn after the incident, Brown revealed, "That was the trick that changed my life, honey. The event that earned me a million dollars," as quoted by the Daily Mail.
Having earned plenty of money from giving interviews about her rendezvous with one of the film industry's most recognizable faces, Brown said, "I was just trying to pay a few bills that night. Lo and behold I got a celebrity. I’d agreed to go with him for $50, but ended up with more than ten thousand times that. God has a path for us all."
One person who was left incredibly hurt by Grant's actions was his long-term partner, Liz Hurley. In an interview with Barbara Walters, published in an old report by The Guardian, Hurley said about the incident, "I think—I felt like I had been shot. I ran out. I think I was—I think I am in shock."
At the time, it was clear that marriage was off the table for the couple. However, Hurley still remained by Grant's side and they were together for another five years. She was even seen with Grant at his movie premiere of Nine Months, and even though she felt miserable to be there, she later said, "I don't think you should hit someone when they're down."
In 2000, Hurley and Grant ended their relationship after 13 years of dating. But even after all these years, the two still maintain a healthy relationship today and are still in touch. "The last time I spoke to Hugh would be this morning," Hurley told People in October 2020. "I speak to him quite a lot."
Referring to him as her "go-to person," Hurley went on to say, "I was asking him his advice on a script I just received. I still go to him for advice on scripts, even though he’s very happily married with five children and I’m very happy in my own life, there’s still certain bits we crossover with very well. And asking advice about work, he’s still my go-to person."
When Grant reflected on his infamous scandal from over two decades back, he called himself an "idiot" for what he did in 1995. According to the Daily Mail, he spoke on The Jess Cagle Interview, about his current bond with Hurley, and said, "We’re like brother and sister... I think it’s partly because we went from zero to somewhere together. We went through terrible years at the beginning when neither of us had any work, living in a tiny flat. It was quite bonding."