Hugh Grant has tweeted an infamous mugshot from the moment he was arrested alongside a Los Angeles sex worker in response to “trolls” who have criticised his endorsement of election candidates from multiple parties.
The actor is encouraging people to vote tactically at the polls next Thursday to stop a Conservative majority, and has been out campaigning alongside Labour and Liberal Democrat hopefuls in recent days.
But his political fluidity has not gone down well with everyone, with anti-racism protesters among those to have questioned the Love Actually star over his endorsements.
Grant moved to address his “dear trolls” by tweeting his 1995 mugshot, adding: “Hope this is helpful. Now you have more time to spend with mummy.”
The photo of Grant and prostitute Divine Brown was taken after they were arrested near Sunset Boulevard, with Grant having paid for her to perform a sex act on him in his car.
Grant, who was fined $1,000 and ordered to attend an Aids education programme, apologised at the time.
The Bridget Jones’ Diary and Paddington star said: “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.”
Brown, real name Estella Marie Thompson, was sentenced to six months in prison because she had also violated her probation for previous prostitution charges.
She has since reportedly earned more than $1m from publicity over the incident, which she has revealed allowed her to send her children to private school and buy a home in Beverly Hills.
Grant, 59, has continued tweeting since posting the mugshot to urge his followers to vote against the Tories in the general election, saying: “Unseat a Tory. Don’t waste a vote. Vote. UK emergency.”
The criticism he has had online spilled over on to the streets on Wednesday, when demonstrators crashed an outdoor speech he was giving in Chingford and Woodford Green.
Grant was lending his backing to Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen in a seat held by Tory Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith, and one man accused him of endorsing a “racist” political party.
During the campaign Grant has also backed Liberal Democrat candidates Chukka Umunna and Luciana Berger, the latter of whom left Labour earlier this year because of antisemitism.
In his speech, Grant had said: “I’m not flitting about supporting one party one day, one party another out of weirdness or capriciousness. I’ve got a very firm message, which is that I’m terrified.”
He said the UK being “ruled by Boris Johnson and a Tory majority” would lead to a “hard Brexit, followed almost inevitably in one year’s time by a no-deal Brexit”.
The prime minister has since said he is confident of securing a trade deal with the EU by the end of next December.
Pressed by Sky News’ political editor Beth Rigby during a campaign rally in Derbyshire, Mr Johnson said: “Can I absolutely guarantee that we will get a trade deal? I think I can.”