Actor Hugh Grant accepted undisclosed libel damages this morning over claims that his plans to attend former girlfriend Liz Hurley’s wedding – and to sponsor a chimpanzee as a gift – were responsible for the breakdown of his relationship with Jemima Khan.
The 46-year-old Love Actually star was not at the High Court to settle his libel action over articles in the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail in February.
His solicitor, Simon Smith, told Mr Justice Gray that the damages would be donated to the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity.
He said that in a series of three articles – one of which carried the headline Hugh, Drew and the Jealousy of Jemima – the newspapers accused Mr Grant of flirting with another woman during his relationship with Ms Khan and divulged his attention to attend Ms Hurley’s wedding to Indian millionaire Arun Nayar.
The articles also claimed that Mr Grant would make a speech at the wedding, act as an usher and had planned to sponsor a chimpanzee in Ms Hurley’s name as part of an extravagant package of wedding presents.
One article alleged that Mr Grant’s actions amounted, as far as Ms Khan was concerned, to “the last straw” and “a nail in the coffin” of their relationship.
Another said Mr Grant – who shot to mainstream fame following his leading role in the 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral – resented having to promote his films.
Mr Smith said that at no stage were any of the allegations put to Grant prior to publication.