Vice girl turned millionairess Divine Brown can’t thank Hugh Grant enough
Last updated 6 July 2007
He was in a white BMW convertible. She was standing on the sidewalk in scarlet stilettos. The place was Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, the date 27 June, 1995, the time around 1.10am – and one of the biggest show business scandals of recent times was about to unfold.
Under different circumstances, we might never have discovered the identity of the celebrity who was later described as sounding like “the Prince of Wales”; or the hooker who performed a $60 (£37) “trick” for him.
But their encounter was interrupted by a tap on the window. The beam of a torch was shinning in their eyes and a voice was telling them to “please step out of the car”.
Outside were two police officers. They were on a routine patrol in the red light district of the Strip. Their attention had been drawn to the BMW because the brake lights kept flashing “on and off” … “on/off” … “on/off “…
The driver, you see, kept pushing his foot down on the brake pedal during his illicit tryst with the prostitute. “I guess he was having a really good time,” she says. The prostitute in question was Divine Brown and the foot belonged to Hugh Grant.
Tens of thousands of words have been written about what happened that night 12 years ago, but, until now, Ms Brown has never spoken about the almost farcical scene that preceded their arrest for lewd behaviour. The revelation emerges in an interview with Ms Brown to be broadcast on ITV1 tonight.
She and Grant were “acquainted” for barely half an hour. Yet, as she reveals, the effect on their lives could not have been more dramatic.
The News of the World, which published an “exclusive” with Ms Brown (real name Stella Marie Thompson), put her on the front page in a Versace safety-pin dress like the one that delivered fame to the star’s girlfriend, Liz Hurley.
But what of Divine Brown? Surely she sank without trace having been outed to the world as a prostitute? Well, the truth is rather different, and begs the question of just who the real winner was in this sorry episode.
Divine was 25 when she appeared in that Versace dress. Today, she is 37. Her hair is styled, her fingernails manicured and her eyebrows plucked in a perfect arch. She calls her liaison with Grant a “blessing”, adding, mischievously: “What happened that night made him ‘famous’ in the States, and made me famous overseas.”