Hugh Grant went all mafia informant when he concealed a microphone on his persons in order to out former News of the World journalists that had been involved in a rather shady phone-hacking scandal.
Evidently, News of the World has, for some time, been implicated in a phone-hacking scandal whereby they had illegally hacked data from phone calls, text messages, and voice mails. The publication is alleged to have then taken this information, much of it later proven to be false, and published it. There have been numerous arrests stemming from investigations into the matter.
As reports have it, Grant recorded a conversation he had with former NoW reporter and known whistle blower, Paul McMullan, wherein McMullan claimed that editors of Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid were “absolutely” aware of these instances of phone-hacking and its illegality.
It’s worth noting that according to Grant in his New Statesman interview, it was Paul McMullan who had initially blown the whistle on his own editor at NoW, Andy Coulson, about the incident in the first place a few years earlier.
The full New Statesman report is only available in print, but you can find an excerpt here.
According to a separate report from the Guardian, News of the World’s Ian Edmondson, former head editor, and Neville Thurlbeck, current chief reporter were both arrested and questioned but eventually released without charge by authorities in England. An investigation is ongoing.