Hugh Grant Blamed Cheating on Elizabeth Hurley on One of His Roles
He said his "frame of mind" wasn't great after seeing himself in his first Hollywood movie.
After Hugh Grant cheated on Elizabeth Hurley, the news was everywhere, from tabloids to talk shows. In 1995, the Four Weddings and a Funeral star was arrested in Los Angeles after being caught engaging in sexual activity with sex worker Divine Brown. Grant was sentenced to a fine for breaking the law and issued a public apology to model and actor Hurley, his partner of eight years. One of the most iconic moments in celebrity image rehab happened when he went on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno soon after and answered the host's question, "What the [expletive] were you thinking?"
And in the ensuing years, Grant has addressed the embarrassing incident further, including offering some context for what was going on with him at the time. On the podcast WTF With Marc Maron in 2021, Grant said that he cheated on Hurley because he had just watched his new movie and didn't like what he saw. The actor claimed that he was "so atrocious" in the role that it led to him not being in "a good frame of mind." Read on to see what else the actor shared and to learn more about his relationship with his ex.
Grant was arrested in 1995.
Grant and Brown were both arrested after being found in his car. The actor was subsequently sentenced to a $1,000 fine and an AIDS education class, as reported by The Guardian.
The next day, Grant released a statement: "Last night I did something completely insane. 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."
On The Tonight Show, the star explained that, despite what he had done, he and Hurley were moving forward in their relationship. "I've done an abominable thing," he said, "and [Hurley's] been amazing about it, and contrary to what I read in the paper today, she's been very supportive, and we're going to try to work it out."
The couple remained together until 2000.
He was in Los Angeles to promote his new movie.
On WTF, Grant explained that he was in Los Angeles at the time to promote his new movie, Nine Months, a romantic comedy co-starring Julianne Moore. At that point, he had worked mostly in British theater, television, and films, but 1994's Four Weddings and a Funeral made him a major star.
"I was about to launch my first Hollywood film. My timing was impeccable … My problem was—that was my first Hollywood film, and I'd just been to see it," Grant told Marc Maron.
Grant continued, "The film was about to come out a week or two after that, and I had a bad feeling about it. And 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."
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He also said he had been drinking.
Grant said on the podcast that another factor in his decision-making that day was that he'd "had a Ken Russell kind of lunch—and one thing led to another." Russell was a British director who was known to drink during the day, which made his directing style increasingly eccentric, as reported by The Independent.
Asked by Maron if he thought, "I'm going to make a mess of this," Grant responded, "God no, not deliberately at all. I just was disappointed in myself." Maron added, "And you wanted to make it worse." The actor said, "I don't know. I don't know what was going on. I certainly did [make it worse]."
Grant explained that the movie "did alright at the box office." He said, "In fact, it did quite well, and that's all Hollywood really cares about. They don't care what you get up to as long as you make them money."
One review of the movie was eerily accurate.
After Grant's episode of WTF was released, The Independent noted that the critic for The Boston Globe wrote a review that was more accurate than they could have realized. "Here's a theory about why Hugh Grant might want to commit career suicide: he's seen Nine Months," the review read.
Hurley and Grant survived the scandal.
Not only did Grant's career survive the cheating scandal, but his relationship with Hurley did, too. In fact, they attended the premiere of Nine Months together. The couple broke up in 2000, but they are still friends today. They're even godparents to each others' children.
"You know, we went through so much together," Hurley told People in 2021. "But I've been thinking, one of the most important things to keep good relations with your exes is to have a lot of respect for their current life." The Austin Powers star explained, "We're always very aware that there are other people in our lives. There's partners, there's children. You can't just, sort of, live in a lovely, rosy, mist of the past. You have to move with the times and be very respectful of the present, which we are."
As for Grant, when he was asked by Andy Cohen in 2015 why his relationship with Hurley didn't work out, he responded, "The funny thing is, it did. She's still my best friend. The sex bit probably fizzled out, but now she's my absolute best friend. Number one person I call in a crisis."