Columbus' Torment Over Grant's Arrest
Film-maker CHRIS COLUMBUS has broken his 11-year silence over his NINE MONTHS star HUGH GRANT's infamous liaison with prostitute DIVINE BROWN, claiming the actor's arrest "hurt" the film's box office takings. The HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS director had big hopes for the 1995 romantic comedy, which was released a year after Grant leaped to international fame in FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL. However only a month before the film's release, Grant and Brown were arrested for indulging in a sex act near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood on 27 June 1995. The English actor was fined and put on probation after admitting lewd conduct. After over a decade of silence, Columbus has finally spoken out about his disappointment in Grant's "ridiculous behaviour". He says, "I also felt it hurt the film significantly. "I have waited 10 years to tell this story. I have never spoken out because initially I was so shocked at what Hugh had done. I also tried to protect him, so I made light of it. But he has said so many things since, I want to finally set the record straight." Columbus escorted Grant to his hotel room the night before his arrest and was stunned by the events that followed only hours later. He recalls, "We had a press conference the following morning. He had not been drinking but said he was tired and wanted to read a new script. I said, 'Please make sure you get a good night's sleep because we have a big day tomorrow.' The next thing I know, he's been arrested. "I have never experienced anything like that in my career. By any standards, it was bizarre."